The Best Cheap Winter Workout Spots
Winter’s about here, and you might be finding yourself in less-than-stellar shape. Have no fear: There are a few inexpensive and easy-to-reach workout spots nearby, so you can get fit fast.
Cheap and as close as down the street, community centers are perfect for drop-ins. There’s no annual fee, no contract, and no long-term commitment. All you have to do is show up, pay a few dollars, and work out. Plus, you get to know people in your local community and may even procure a stellar exercise buddy or someone who wants to hit the woods with you. Since community centers are open mostly during the week, though, you’ll be on your own for weekend workouts.
Great classes. Super weight rooms. Easy access. These workout spots offer everything from standard free weights and swimming pools to classes in yoga and qigong. Some even have racquetball courts, karate training, and masseuses. If you catch YMCAs at a good time — such as in the middle of the summer or even in the late fall — you can find a good deal on deposits and monthly fees. Some centers also offer scholarships or fee reductions for people living on lower incomes. Just ask for an application at the front desk, and they can hook you up.
Parks and Recreation Departments
Close to home and primarily focused on outdoor sports, parks and rec departments are best for family-oriented activities, operating baseball fields, rollerblading and cycling lanes, even lakes for kayaking classes. They’re fun, they’re in your neighborhood, and they’re generally cheaper than taking a trip to a state or national park.
National Gym Chains
Bally’s and World Gym may seem like expensive solutions for working out, but sometimes they have stellar deals, like a lifetime membership that involves a pretty hefty sign-up fee followed by a monthly price lower than the local YMCA as long as you keep your membership active. Another bonus: You can usually find a place to work out in any major city when you’re on the road.
If you just don’t have the money or you’re in a more remote area that doesn’t offer good gyms, you have a few trusted standbys you can turn to any time. Like running, which you can do pretty much year round, even in some of the coldest places, as long as you have the shoes and layers to do it. Other people run in circles in their living rooms or apartments when all else fails. Walking is another good choice for year-round fitness.
Or go back to your childhood and start jumping rope again. It’s a great workout, and it’s cheap. DVDs for aerobics, calisthenics, and martial arts are also good choices, especially if you rent them from your local library.
If you start right now, regular exercise can help you ease your way through the holidays with less stress and more energy! So pick a workout spot, lace up your shoes, and get to it.