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How to Stay Fit and Workout for Free in New York City

How to Stay Fit and Workout for Free in New York City

You can visit the City That Never Sleeps and get some good workouts in without breaking the bank.


First-class accommodation options in New York are aplenty. Many of them unsurprisingly have top-of-the-line gyms, like those on our list of the best hotel gyms in New York City. The Paper Factory Hotel, Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, and Marriot Marquis are just three hotels that have taken their gym game to the next level.

Obviously, these first-class hotels, along with their top-of-the-line gyms, are generally for people with deep pockets.

That could be you, of course. But if it isn’t, don’t fret. You can still visit the City That Never Sleeps and get some good workouts in.  

Passes and Promos

For one, there are gyms and fitness studios in New York that offer free get-to-know-us workout passes. Thrillist has even listed several establishments that have these types of promos.

Photo by Crunch Fitness.

Photo by Crunch Fitness.

For instance, Crunch offers one-, three-, and five-day guest passes. The best part is that there are Crunch branches across the state, making it highly likely that you’ll run into one. Other fitness centers like Harbor Fitness in Brooklyn, Sage Fitness in Whitestone, and Retro Fitness at various locations in the Big Apple offer a free one-session trial.

Some research is required on your part, but the trade-off — getting to work out in some fine gyms and fitness studios — is well worth it.

Classes and Group Workouts

Then there are free workout groups and fitness classes you can join. For more social sessions Fitt New York City lists a few groups and classes: Battery Park City Parks, for example, hosts free yoga classes every Wednesday starting May until September, while Yoga to the People, offers donation-based classes — take your pick from Power Vinsaya, Traditional Hot Yoga, and Hot Vinsaya — in its branches on the Upper West Side, Midtown, East Village, Chelsea, and Brooklyn.

Photo by Sandy Soohoo.

Photo by Sandy Soohoo.

If yoga isn’t your thing, you can opt for running clubs, Battery Park City Running Club and Lululemon Run Club. There are even free tai chi classes and meditation sessions in the Big Apple.

In case you aren’t feeling the Fitt New York list, Curbed New York has provided readers some free outdoor fitness classes. There’s a fitness boot camp in Hudson Park, and Zumba at West Harlem Piers Park. To this end, ask around, the locals will likely point you in the right direction.

Big Apple = Big Money

Why the prevalence and popularity of free workouts in NYC, you ask? It is a well-known fact that the cost of living is ridiculously high in New York. It is, in fact, one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in.

A CNBC infographic showing the associated costs of living in New York reveals that groceries in the Big Apple are quite expensive as compared to other cities. The price of coffee and soda are also much higher. Going out in New York costs more, too, as does finding a place to stay in, whether in the short term or in the long term. Yoreevo states that New York City real estate is extremely expensive, with high transactions costs for buying and selling. Even just renting is pretty costly, too.

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Given these realities, introductory passes and free classes like the ones mentioned above are certainly like manna from heaven. They give New Yorkers and the state’s visitors ways to stay fit, for free or for a minimal fee. That’s surely a welcome change for anyone who knows how expensive things can get in the Big Apple.

Bottom Line

Then again, as any fitness buff would know, staying fit should be neither costly nor complicated. You can even exercise in your room. You can go out for a jog. You can even do yoga on your own. There are lots of ways to stay fit, and not every one of them requires you to spend money.

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