BeFit(NYC) – Free and Low Cost Fitness Activities

 photo credit: gracekelle

I love this photo from my LA trip- it’s currently my desktop photo. Doesn’t this view make you want to jump in the water? For many of us, this just reminds us that we have to be in a swimsuit. Eek! Let’s kick our work outs into high gear!

Today is the launch of BeFitNYC Week. BeFitNYC is the New York  City Department of Parks and Recreation’s “source for free and low cost fitness activities.” From June 6 – June 12 recreation centers all over the city are opening up their facilities to all for free. Take advantage of the pools, basketball courts, and group classes all over the five boroughs this week and maybe you’ll discover a passion for a new type of exercise. Check out their website here or join the BeFitNYC Facebook page to access all the events taking place this month. Want to jump right in? Head over to Washington Square Park today at 11:30 am to join the Zumba Flash Mob. If only I didn’t have to work!

It’s so great to see the City reinvigorate and refocus people’s attention on exercise. Besides not having enough time, most people I know who don’t exercise list cost as their reason for not working out. Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive! While I pay for a gym and a trainer, the two activities I enjoy the most are free and low cost.

Running is definitely free- just put on your sneakers and head outside. It’s the best way to explore your neighborhood and I as I mentioned in my last post, there’s nothing more thrilling than listening to my own breath’s rhythm. Another activity that comes at a low cost is yoga. There are various organizations that offer yoga at a low cost for the exact reason that they want everyone to be able to have the opportunity to practice yoga. Let’s not forget to mention the numerous DVDs you can purchase for under $20 and practice in the comfort of your own home. There’s really no excuse.


Here are a few Lean Girls Club recommendations for free and low cost fitness activities. (Note, I have tried these all myself):

  • Nike Running Club (national) – Free. Meets several times a week and even serves refreshments afterward.
  • The Running Company (select cities) – Free. Find a store near you and then select a run schedule. The closest one to me is the Time Warner location. Or if you can’t make it to the group run, stop by and they’ll still hold your bag while you run!
  • Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp (NYC) – Various locations all around the city. First class is $15 and then classes are $20 or less if you purchase a package. It’s a torturous way to torch calories and push yourself to the limit. The founder, Ariane, will surely kick your butt while overlooking a killer view!
  • Boot Camp Body By Conyn (NYC) – Meets every Saturday at Grand Army Plaza in Central park. Classes are $20 and there is no contract, commitment, or membership. Just show up ready to work. Conyn’s militaristic style is motivating without being condescending. Expect to do lots of lunges, push ups, and even some TRX training. Walk away as being one of his “troops.” Hoo-rah!
  • Yoga to the People (select cities) – Classes available in NYC, SF, Seattle and Berkley and are donation based, while the suggestion per class is $10. Give more or give less. In an age where yoga has become trendy and inaccessible, YTTP recaptures what yoga is about- being available to everyone.
  • Yoga Agora (Astoria, NY) – This one is a personal favorite since it’s a block away from my apartment 🙂 It’s $5 per class and extremely tranquil because of the open studio and french door windows. Imagine Warrior 2 pose with windows wide open, the sun shining, and a cool breeze to help aide your breath. The power vinyasa classes are challenging and make you sweat like a mutha…
  • Lululemon (national) – classes are FREE and held weekly before or after the store’s functioning hours. Don’t expect to get bored – classes are switched up regularly. And again, who can beat FREE? Just beware. You’ll be tempted to purchase a new clothing item or yoga mat. Their stuff is too cute!
Do you know of any other free or low-cost fitness activities in NYC or your city? Share with Lean Girls Club in the comments below.

5 thoughts on “BeFit(NYC) – Free and Low Cost Fitness Activities

  1. grace, this is a great post!

    I also want to let you know about the “summer in the square” program that starts next Thursday in Union Square. Every Thursday free workouts are offered in Union Square Park. It starts at 7am with a Running Class (taught by the amazing Terence Gerchberg), 8am Yoga on the Plaza and 9am Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp (I’ll be kicking your arse – hard). So, tell your boss you’ll be coming in late but happy.


  2. first, that picture is AWESOME! I love it!
    I hardly heard anything about BeFitNYC week, and I try to pay attention to this kind of stuff. I wish they had promoted it a bit more because I would have made time to participate! Thanks for all the great info!

    • I didn’t hear to much about it either until I saw a snipe in a subway station in queens. I wish they had tried to spread the word a little bit more, but I guess that’s what happens when people have small marketing budgets 🙂

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