How to Get Free Workouts in Other Cities
City travel is different than an action-packed trip to the beach or mountains. Sure, we do a lot of walking, but sometimes we still crave an intense workout routine to relieve stress and burn the extra calories consumed from eating out at every meal. Instead of exercising in a cramped, uninspiring hotel gym, head to the free classes offered by area fitness retailers or community gyms. Not only are these options light on the wallet, they are also a great way to discover the city and make new friends:
Free Community Classes and Meetups: A quick Google search using the keywords “free” with your favorite type of workout and destination city can yield a surprising amount of results. During warmer months, many community centers and local studios offer free outdoor classes, especially for Zumba, yoga, running clubs, boot camps, pick-up games, and court sports. If you take a free class at an area studio or gym, express your appreciation by writing a nice Yelp review about your experience. Check out meetup.com for nearby free events.
Athleta: Athleta is a performance women’s apparel store with several locations throughout the United States. Stores offer free weekly fitness classes that range from barre to yoga to boot camp, as well as group runs. For a list of events, visit stores.athleta.net.
Before heading to a free yoga or pilates class, check to see if mats are available for students or if you need to bring your own.
CrossFit: CrossFit fosters a deep sense of community and is friendly towards out-of-towners. Many allow free drop-in classes to visiting CrossFit’ers who contact them with advance notice. A reputable box will probably have you arrive a little early to sign a release form and demonstrate your knowledge of proper technique before participating in a WOD. Ask your local CrossFit coach for recommendations or contacts in finding a gym. If you get to drop-in for free, show support by buying a t-shirt from that box. A list of official CrossFit locations can be found at map.crossfit.com.
Lululemon: Lululemon is a company that specializes in quality yoga and workout clothing with stores in North America, Europe, and Asia. Most locations offer a free weekly in-store yoga, meditation, or athletic class hosted by area instructors or guest studios. To find a store and class list, visit lululemon.com/stores.
Nike: Nike operates flagship stores in many major cities that offer free Run Clubs and Nike Training Classes (NTC) classes based off the company’s popular fitness mobile app. Some sessions get so crowded that certain locations require pre-registration. For more info, visit Nike’s Help Site.
Free classes don’t stay secret for long and often fill up quickly. Arrive to classes early and call ahead to see if pre-registration is required.
Reebok: Reebok is the official provider of CrossFit shoes and apparel. In response to this growing market, Reebok has opened several concept “FitHub” stores in Boston, New Jersey, New York, Washington DC, and London that are designed to inspire individual fitness. They offer a wide variety of classes that include kettle bell, cardio-dance, jump rope, and CrossFit workouts. Keep your eyes open, ten stores on the U.S. east coast are slated to open within the next year: shop.reebok.com/us/content/fit-hub.
How do you stay motivated to workout while traveling? Share your fitness tips and class recommendations!
Lara was instilled with the travel bug at an early age and has visited over 25 countries. Her mother’s job as a flight attendant enabled a childhood of seeing the world. In addition to being the founding editor of En Route Traveler, Lara also works as the Art Director for the branding firm, Belmont Inc., in Alexandria, VA. In her spare time, she instructs high-energy Zumba dance classes, contributes as a Local Expert to AFAR, enjoys vegetarian cuisine, dabbles in photography and, of course, travels as much as possible.