5 Ways to Stay Fit Without a Gym Membership

Go on an urban yoga hike or participate in a themed fitness event to stay in shape and have fun doing it.

Let’s face it: Gyms can get pretty crowded. Here are some alternative fitness activities to explore in lieu of getting a gym membership. Embrace these workouts as opportunities to double down on some of your other goals, such as spending more time with friends, getting out in nature, or going on adventurous dates.

Urban Yoga Hikes

These hikes combine nature with fitness as you take breaks along the trail for moments of meditation or high-intensity yoga postures. Check out this writer’s epic adventure of hiking at Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass. These hikes are a great compromise for friends who disagree on indoor class-style workouts versus getting out in nature for exercise. A great activity for a date, urban yoga hikes usually provide a beautiful background in a social atmosphere with about 10-15 people joining per hike. Check out options for similar hikes in your area.

Themed Fitness Events

Training with a team or participating in a themed 5k is a win-win scenario. Not only are you getting your workout in, but you’re also spending time with friends and/or making new ones. Events such as the Electric Run (glow in the dark run at night), the Color Run, or Tough Mudder host multiple events across the country. Getting friends together to train is an added benefit, as you share the success at the finish line.

Run Your City

When I first moved to San Francisco, I posted a map of the city in my room and worked to run through every neighborhood. I highlighted my route every time I touched a new street, and soon found myself on further runs to see the outer parts of the city. I found myself taking breaks to jot down new restaurants or yoga studios, and found new spots to revisit each time I left the house.

Get in the Water

Whether you live in the center of the polar vortex or in the Sunshine State, there are multiple opportunities to exercise in the water. Many community pools offer water aerobics classes, and swimming laps is a low-impact cardio alternative to running. If you live near the beach you can supplement your swim with a jog in the sand, which will target different muscles.

Travel Tips

When you are on the road for work or pleasure, hotel gyms can often be packed during peak workout times. But the great thing about exercising when you are traveling is that you only need a pair of running shoes or a travel yoga mat to maintain your routine. The first thing I do when planning a trip is map out runs that will give me great views of the city and trek me through some of the major landmarks.

Whether at the gym or in the great outdoors, it’s time to get into the best shape of your life. Keep your fitness goals fun and realistic and enjoy the adventures you can take while achieving your wellness goals.

camCameron Cler is traveler at heart, obsessed with seeing the world and discovering ways to contribute to positive global change. As a registered yoga teacher, she balances her constant travel and work in the startup world by channeling her inner yogi and welcoming peace in chaotic moments. Her passion is cultivating creativity and inspiration while sharing travel stories, yoga classes, wellness tips, and smiles with her friends, family, and students.


This piece was originally published on wanderlust.com in January 2015.