Finding Free Outdoor Fitness Fun

End-of-summer exercise means different things to different people, of course. For me, the basics are covered in my gym, but I do like to milk the last few days of summer freedom with time spent outside. Outdoor fitness in your town might not look like it does in my area. But no matter where you live, I bet you can find some fun things to do that let you enjoy August’s precious days while also providing good exercise.

Easy Banana Bran Breakfast Cookies

Easy Banana Bran Breakfast Cookies

Three Guiding Stars iconThree Guiding Stars indicate the best nutritional value. Bring these easy cookies along to a meet-up to share a filling, nutritious, post-workout snack with your new fitness friends.

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Running or Biking Clubs

Getting together with like-minded folks for a run or ride can be fun! Clubs may offer themed runs/rides on certain days of the week, specific runs/rides (culminating at a brewery, for example), or beginner training runs/rides.

Nature Center Trails

Free community hikes or educational walks through nature centers are a nice way to learn something while getting in some physical activity. Audubon centers, nature preserves and botanical gardens all run free events at various times of the year (sometimes a small donation or fee is requested).

Meet-up Groups

Meet-up groups can be found pretty much everywhere. Investigate the kinds of activities you are interested in doing outside (many groups focus on free activities). A quick look at groups in my area, under the “Outdoors and Adventure” category, revealed lots of free groups: a  hike-with-your-dog group, a Saturday bicycle and brews group, a general “keep yourself active” group that focuses on free or nearly free activities coupled with breakfast, lunch or dinner for socializing, a family mountain biking group and a geocaching group, to name a few.

Outdoor Yoga Classes

Many communities offer free (or donation-based) outdoor yoga classes. A quick Google search for “free outdoor yoga near me” will show you what’s available in your area. Community centers, larger sporting goods stores and city parks/recreation departments are good places to check for free outdoor yoga classes as well.

Free Entrance at National Parks

Do some hiking, swimming and exploring at our national parks. Any park that charges an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone, according to the National Park Service website. There are four fee-free dates (the next ones are Sep. 22 and Nov. 11), so mark your calendars! The Every Kid in a Park pass allows 4th graders and up to 3 adults to gain free entrance to every national park for an entire year! Get the pass online (it must be printed out, no electronic versions are accepted).