Free Fun Things to Do: Fitness in the New Year

Yep, the post-holiday fitness focus is on! And we’re going to tell you how to find free fun things to do to keep fit in the New Year! Everything from archery to zen yoga.

free things to do
Creative Commons License photo credit: M i x y

There are several ways to get fit for free and plenty of frugal ways to get fit, too. You’re looking at one option right now — the computer. Just pop over to YouTube and type in fitness, or yoga, or Pilates, heck even belly dancing. There are dozens of free how-to videos if you’ve got a screen wide enough to watch while you try the Downward Dog.

Already pay for cable TV? Try the On Demand free FitTV channel or Exercise TV. Got a library card? Check out a fitness video for FREE (just don’t be late in returning it!).

Walking in your neighborhood too boring? Try a free walking club at the nearest indoor mall. Too stuffy? Head to a nearby lake or beach that has a bike or walking path, like Mission Beach in San Diego.

Or take a hike! The Sierra Club leads trail hikes across the U.S. for free or a nominal fee.

Consider touring your own city or major city park for free. In New York City’s Central Park volunteer guides lead 10 different free walking tours that highlight several areas of Central Park. So you not only get fit in a fun way but you learn a decent amount of history in the process.

Not challenging enough for you? Remember how Sylvester Stallone got in shape in Rocky? Stairs. Maybe there’s a cool set of stairs near your home or office where you can enjoy the architecture or the scenery while you pound your way up and down. In Santa Monica, CA people get fit for free every day hoofing up and down the 4th Street stairs. They even run into celebrities clothed in the hottest new fit fashions.

You’ll have to stretch those muscles after mastering those stairs for the first time so take a free yoga class. Dozens of yoga studios offer free first-time classes. Some yoga instructors offer free classes outdoors on a regular basis. Joni Yung, the Accidental Yogist, keeps track of free classes in the L.A. area. You might come across a donation box, so consider a little ching as you ring in your new self.

Ever think of trying tennis? Check with your local recreation department to see if they offer an opportunity to try it for free! The Oxnard Tennis Center holds an annual free open house for families to whack a real tennis ball instead of a Wii one.

Looking for something more exotic? How about archery or croquet or lawn bowling? The Roving Archers in Pasadena is just one of dozens of archery clubs that offer free lessons and they’ll provide you the equipment, too.

Slip on some soft-soled shoes (tennies, sneakers) and the San Francisco Croquet Club will give you a free lesson in six-wicket croquet.

Visit the U.S. Lawn Bowling Association online to find a local club. Almost all of them offer free lessons once or more a month. Plus the USBLA will hold free National Open House May 8, with its NE and Central lawn bowling divisions holding an open house on June 19.

Tilling the soil is a good way to stay in shape. The Portland, OR Parks & Recreation Department offers free gardening/work party classes. You won’t need to buy a hand exerciser after pruning a few fruit trees. Check with your local parks department to see if they offer something similar.

While you’re exercising your brawn don’t forget to exercise your mind! Chess clubs across the U.S. often hold monthly or weekly open chess play for beginners to advanced chess players. Some are affiliated with the United States Chess Federation but many are not, such as the group that meets at the the Borders Bookstore in Tulsa every Friday night.

Play on!