Boston is known for many things, but certainly not for being cheap. With the cost of many gym memberships just shy of a car payment, it can seem like, aside from the Emerson Fitness Center, staying fit in this city is nearly impossible on a college budget. If you’re tired of the same old workouts in the Fitness Center, or are just looking for something extra to supplement your gym time, there are many local and affordable fitness options to choose from. Whatever your favorite workout routine, these are five of the top options in Boston that will fit your exercise needs and your strict budget.
1. The Charles River Path: Free While the weather is nice, the bike path along the Charles River can be an excellent venue for your sweat session. The view is gorgeous, and with the river path extending miles throughout the city, you can run or ride your bike to your heart’s delight without worrying about traffic, stoplights, or overly aggressive drivers.
2. Charles River Fitness Stations: Free Traveling up the river path towards Cambridge, about a mile past the Mass Ave. Bridge, will bring you to one of the free fitness stations along the Charles River. Equipped with several benches, parallel bars, pull-up bars and other equipment, this is a great place to get in an excellent workout outdoors, no matter your fitness level. A workout overlooking the river is always a nice alternative to the sweaty gym atmosphere, and the people-watching along the Charles is just an added bonus.
3. Free Fitness Classes: Free If you want free fitness classes, and the options in the fitness center don’t fit your schedule, you’re in luck. During the warmer months, there are free Zumba and yoga classes at both The Edward A. Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade, and in City Hall Plaza on certain weeknights, thanks to Mayor Menino’s Boston Moves For Health Campaign. Additionally, for those who are feeling a little bit more swanky, the Liberty Hotel often offers free yoga and pilates classes to the public through a partnership with Equinox Gym.
4. Hubway Bikes: $5 for a 24- hour membership ($12 for 3 days, or $85 for a year) These green and silver bikes can be seen around the city, and they’re now stationed on just about every street corner around town. For a small fee, you can recieve 24-hour access to the bikes; the only caveat is that additional time over 30 minutes for each trip will cost you extra. The best, and cheapest, way to use this system is to ride to a certain destination, dock your bike, and make a separate return trip to avoid the extra fees. Bikes can be picked up and dropped off at any Hubway station, and with over 60 stations around the city, it’s a convenient alternative to a crowded commute on the T.
5. Discounted Fitness Classes: $9-10 There are multiple yoga studios around town that offer cheap classes. Back Bay Yoga only charges $10 for most classes before 5 p.m., and all classes at Sweat And Soul Yoga are offered at $10 per class. For those of you who would rather shake your goodies than hang out in downward dog, the Z Spot Studio in the South End offers a student discount on Zumba class packages ranging from $9-$10 per class, depending on the package.
You may need to get a little creative, but there are certainly plenty of budget- friendly fitness options in Boston. And don’t forget that, with the abundance of colleges in this city, student discounts can be found at many venues besides those mentioned here, but you never know until you ask. So lace up those running shoes, strap on that bike helmet, or whip out those old rollerblades (you know you still have them), and get out there to find your fitness niche in the beautiful city of Boston.