If you’re like the bulk of Americans, chances are you have a health-related New Year’s resolution: exercise more, eat better. In that same vein, if you’re like most - the odds are against you. According to U.S. News, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. This isn’t a surprise, life gets in the way and time slips away. If you’re looking for easy, “no excuse” ways to get fit this year, visit Orange County. Across Hillsborough, Carrboro and Chapel Hill, there are a number of ways to get in shape (or stay in shape) while enjoying the captivating scenery and foodie scene that Orange County has to offer.

For fun, easy ways to keep your fitness goals on track, try these five activities:

Take a dip at the Chapel Hill Aquatic Center – Staying at a hotel without an indoor swimming pool? The beginning of the year can be a downer and downright chilly for those that love to swim and want to incorporate a dip into the waters while away from home. Chapel Hill’s Aquatic Center could be the fix you’re looking for. It’s the perfect antidote to the winter blues. Note: Homestead Aquatics Center closes for annual maintenance February 18 - March 3, 2024

Homestead Aquatics Center

Try an Indoor Climbing Wall –  Chapel Hill has three, two for people of all skill levels and one specifically for the little tikes. A climbing wall at the Chapel Hill Community Center (home to the Websters Rock the Hill competition; February 10-18, 2024) and another at Progression Climbing on Legion Road and for the little ones, go to Kidzu Children’s Museum for their own Climbing Wall which was locally designed by Progression Climbing. Kids can boulder up this challenging wall while exploring multiple colored trails and even ring the bell at the top. The Climbing Walls at the Community Center and Progression Climbing offer a unique opportunity for beginners or experienced climbers.

Websters Rock the Hill Competition

Explore the Eno River Trail – Looking for something more nature-oriented? Head out to Hillsborough and explore the scenic trail at Eno River State Park. Arguably one of the best trails in the state, it’s a perfect walk for the family or grab a buddy or your furry friend friend and go for a run in the forest! Love camping? Find solitude and peace among the trees at one of the Backpack Camping ( $15/night) sites or Group Camping sites ($45/night). Reservations required for group camping.

Bike the Bolin Creek Trail – Hands down, Orange County is one of the most bike-friendly communities in the country. Hop on one of Chapel Hill’s many bike lanes and head to the Bolin Creek Trail to bike the paved paths through the forest. Depending on where you start, there are a number of ways to treat yourself at the end: the path starts near University Place and ends near Chapel Hill’s The Root Cellar Café. Pick-up lunch and continue on your way!

Run the Tar Heel 10K – Planning a trip to Chapel Hill in April.  The Tar Heel 10 Miler takes place April 20, 2024 and is one of the best ways to explore downtown Chapel Hill and its surrounding historic neighborhoods. Even if you aren’t a regular runner, it’s still a great way to get out and enjoy the surroundings. UNC Alumni or not, it’s also a great way to see UNC’s one-of-a-kind campus!

Tar Heel 10-Miler


Looking for some mental health inspiration? From January 10-16, 2024, A special health and wellness initiative in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and PlayMakers Repertory Company presents Every Little Thing, an intimate performance that brings prople together in celebration of the little things that make life worthwhile. Performed at CURRENT Studio on UNC-Chapel Hill campus in downtown Chapel Hill. Free and open to the public. Book tickets here.