Mary Baum

6 Ways to Exercise for Free!

After seeing this article about the future of obese people in the U.S., it really got me thinking. Why? Why is this such an epidemic when so much of the outcome is in the individuals hands? (Don’t worry, I understand that it is a very real battle for a lot of people, and I am not discounting that.) A lack of physical activity is a big factor, but there are so many ways to combat it. There are many  reasons why people do not want to workout, including:

  • They work too much
  • There isn’t enough time in the day
  • They do not know how to workout
  • They can’t find any workout activities they like to do
  • It’s too expensive

I believe that all of them are definitely false, and I am here to change the view of that last one! There are more ways now than ever to find places to workout that are very inexpensive or even free! Here is a nice list of places and classes in the Tampa area that are low cost or no cost! Don’t live in Tampa? No worries – if Tampa has these amenities, I’m sure your town does to. It just takes a little bit of research, but you can definitely find it!

1. Running Groups

This is a very easy one. There are running groups all over the place – seriously, every week night in Tampa, you can find one. It is a great place to get into the sport, and a great way to meet new people. Just google your area and you are bound to find a running group or two. I am able to make time for a Monday run group at my local Lululemon store – and you should too! Our group is growing, and I would love if you came to our run group!

2. Inexpensive Gyms

In the Tampa area, we have access to Anytime Fitness, a gym that, you guessed it – you can go to ANYTIME. All you need is their nifty little key card, and you can unlock the door 24/7. They are literally never closed. They have no bells and whistles – cardio equipment and weights/machines, but it is very affordable. It only costs $35 a month, which is incredible.

Also, many cities have provided recreational centers for a very nominal fee – think $45 a quarter. Now that is a deal! The big caveat is that their hours are nowhere near as flexible, so you may not be able to get there quite as early in the morning, or stay as late as night as you may  like.

3. Free Yoga

Yoga is something that I love to partake in, but unfortunately, attending at studios does get a bit pricy. Here in Tampa, there are multiple ways to practice yoga for free! Lululemon hosts yoga every Saturday morning at their store. If the weather is nice and you would rather practice outside on Saturday, head to Ybor and do yoga in the Ybor City Museum Garden. There is also a chance for yoga on Sunday night at 6pm at Curtis Hixon park in downtown Tampa. These are only a few opportunities that I have within a few mile radius of my house. I’m sure there are some opportunities in your city too!

4. Complimentary Bootcamps, Pilates, Zumba, and the like

There are a lot of complimentary classes at the same rec centers that I mentioned above, and even at other places too! Our local Lululemon store offers a non-yoga class every Sunday, which means anything from a hard-core bootcamp, to a lengthening pilates class. Check out different health and fitness related stores in your area to find one. They might be right under your nose!

5. Crossfit

If you have been to crossfit and it is something that you love, you are not alone. The huge drawback is the hefty price tag that comes along with those workouts. There are many websites out there that post WOD’s (workout of the day) for you to use, like the Traveling WOD, and 100 Travel Workouts. There are so many workouts that you are able to do at home, so take advantage of the free sites! And don’t worry about your neighbors if they look at you funny as you  bang out a set of burpees, or some crawlers. It will be worth it when you see those results!

Pushing the prowler!

6. City Swimming Pools

I swim 3 times a week with my friends. We definitely do not pay for a pricy membership at a private pool or fancy complex. We use our city amenities, and use a pool funded by the city of Tampa. It is very affordable – based on my usage, I think it ends up being about 50 to 75 cents per visit. For real! All you need is proof of residency, and you are in. It is that easy!

Here are just a few of many ways to stay fit for a low cost or no cost! Do you have any others to add in your city – or mine?!

14 Responses

  1. Julie
    Julie September 19, 2012 at 8:39 am |

    Thanks!! These are some great ideas that I think can apply to most other cities. I’m definitely going to check out my lulu lemon store, I had no idea they offered free classes! I’m also a fan of free workout videos on YouTube! I have Internet on my tv so I watch them right from my big tv screen in the living room!

  2. Robin
    Robin September 19, 2012 at 9:20 am |

    I am so jealous of your city pool. I had to join a gym in order to get access to a pool. It isn’t cheap and when it went down for maintenance, I was hopping from pool to pool in the area to get my workouts in at the minimum price of $10/day. UGH!

  3. Katie @wishandwhimsy
    Katie @wishandwhimsy September 19, 2012 at 9:28 am |

    These are some great free and low cost ideas to consider. Don’t forget that one thing some people can do is become members at their office gym (I realize not every place has this) but my workplace offers a nice gym with group classes for a tremendously low fee…like $7 a month. And, it’s taken out of my paycheck so it’s tax-free. Just a thought.

  4. Erin Bamrick
    Erin Bamrick September 19, 2012 at 10:03 am |

    Here is one of my favorite quotes from Nike that is pretty relevant: “There are clubs you can’t belong to, neighborhoods you can’t live in, schools you can’t get into, but the roads are always open.” Great post, Mary!!

  5. Danielle @ itsaharleyyylife
    Danielle @ itsaharleyyylife September 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm |

    great post! I need to belong to a fitness group! Those sound like so much fun and it keeps you on track!

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  8. andrea froese
    andrea froese September 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

    Love the ideas! Being a grad student on a budget, I’m always looking for a great way to stay fit for less. Thanks!

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