Being healthy isn’t just about building bigger biceps or shrinking that muffin top. In fact, when the University of Colorado Denver opens its 85,000-square-foot wellness center on the Auraria Campus this spring, the facility will be oriented around seven aspects of well-being: social, physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, environmental, and creative.

Not a student? No problem. Colorado offers plenty of ways you too can resolve to be (holistically) healthier in 2018—without doing a single burpee.


Although we all dream of having Channing Tatum’s abs, it’s so much easier to kick back with a Left Hand Brewing milk stout than it is to commit to doing 100 sit-ups a night. Instead, try a sporty activity that’s fun enough to trick you into forgetting you’re sweating. Our suggestion: “snow boating,” aka navigating an obstacle course in a kayak on a snowy slope. Monarch Mountain hosts one of the only races, Kayaks on Snow, each April.


A healthier planet translates to a healthier you, and that can start with simply reducing your waste (by up to 75 percent!) through the Denver Composts program. Quarterly payments of $29.25 net you a green bin to dispose of food scraps, yard debris, pet hair, tea bags, and nonrecyclable paper such as tissues and greasy pizza boxes. The city added 11 compost routes in 2017, which means the program is now available in all Denver neighborhoods—but service is still on a first come, first serve basis.


Cultivate your intellectual side (without encroaching on your happy hour time) by joining the Meetup group Denver Books, Bars, and Beers, made up of porter and prose lovers who gather in local watering holes to discuss new reads each month. On January 30, members will congregate at Darcy’s Bistro and Pub in south Denver to dissect Karin Slaughter’s 2015 thriller, Pretty Girls.


A recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience revealed that laughing triggers the release of natural opioids in the brain and improves your mood. You could get your kicks at a comedy show (like one of rising star Beth Stelling’s five appearances at Comedy Works Downtown January 4 through 6) or take a more focused approach to chortling at Denver Laughter Club. The hourlong sessions are based on traditional yoga techniques but add laughter exercises, like varying your giggle volume. Members meet Mondays at noon in St. Barnabas Church in the Cheesman Park neighborhood.

International Church of Cannabis
The International Church of Cannabis at the Washington Park West church. Photo by Helen H. Richardson / the Denver Post / Getty Images.


Parishioners at the nine-month-old International Church of Cannabis believe marijuana consumption transforms them into better versions of themselves. Don’t worry, visitors aren’t obligated to partake; they can stop by the Washington Park West church from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday through Sunday to glimpse its rainbow-colored ceiling.


Offset the sizeable cost of your once-a-week Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen habit by earning some passive income through Denver-based app Fluid Market. The year-and-a-half-old app lets you rent your bike, tent, or car (or anything else you’re willing to temporarily part with) for rates you set. It’s like Airbnb for your stuff—except you don’t have to put together a welcome basket.

Mantra Glass Art
Try a private or group glassblowing class in southwest Denver’s Mantra Glass Art studio. Photo courtesy of Mantra Glass Art.


If your inner Energizer Bunny can’t handle sedentary pursuits such as knitting, consider a more active pastime to scratch your creative itch. Mantra Glass Art in southwest Denver, for instance, offers an exhaustive lineup of private and group glassblowing classes. Start with a paperweight ($99 for a 45-minute session) and work your way up to a terrarium ($199 for three hours).