Real good for free: Exercise

Ten ways to work out for free, or almost free. (Have more ideas? Add them in the comments section, below.)

1. The old-school fitness trail
They’re also called parcourses and campgrounds used to have them, back in the 70s and 80s — the hiking/running trail marked by stations with equipment for doing pushups, pull ups and crunches. Well, a few still exist and they provide a great workout. There’s one in the wooded area behind the Forest Service, located at 200 Weaver Blvd., Asheville. The fitness course is set up between the field office and the UNCA parking lot, accessed from Nantahala St.

2. Hula hoop
Every Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  (through September) the Asheville Community Hoop Jam is held in Pritchard Park. Bring your own hoop or borrow one at the hoop jam; work out with other hoop-crazy folks to tunes provided by a DJ. Read more about it here.

3. Free yoga
Asheville Community Yoga (8 Brookdale Rd., Asheville) says its mission is to “serve the community through the love offering of yoga classes, lectures, workshops and related services with the intention that through these practices we will come together in love and attain freedom in this life.” Classes include men’s yoga, beginner’s yoga, Yinyasa flow and back care. Find a schedule here.

4. Move more
Have you seen the signs around downtown Asheville? The Eat Smart Move More N.C. coallition developed walking trails and maps as part of its mission. Follow the signs for short loops that you can complete on a lunch break, or go here for downloadable maps to area trails includine Riverside Cemetery, Urban Trail, Lake Louise, UNCA’s Botanical Gardens, Kimberly Ave., Beaver Lake & Bird Sanctuary and more.

5. Swim
Buncombe County has five public pool locations, including Cane Creek, Erwin, Hominy Valley, North Buncombe and Owen. “Passes are available for purchase at all pools and at the Administrative office of Parks, Greenways and Recreation Services at 59 Woodfin Place in Asheville. A 10 visit pass is $20 and a 25 visit pass is $40.” That’s $2 or less per swim.

6. Tennis, anyone?
Okay, if you’re a pro you might not want to practice your swing or serve on the courts of a public park. But if you’re just looking to burn a few calories and have a little fun, head to one of a number of parks. Choctaw Street Park, Kenilworth Park, Livingston Street Park, Malvern Hills Park, Montford Park, Murphy-Oakley Park, Shiloh Park, Weaver Park and West Asheville Park are all on that list.

7. Think Jane Fonda.
A free aerobics class is held Mondays and Wednesdays at 2 p.m. at the Kennilworth Presbyterian Church in Asheville. Info at 252-8872.

8. Climb to new heights
The Montford Community Center (34 Pearson Dr., Asheville) is home to the indoor climbing wall. Hours are Monday and Wednesday, 6-9 p.m., and Saturdays from noon-3 p.m. Info: 253-3714.

9. Run like the wind
Running is pretty much free (invest in good shoes, but other than that you can do it anywhere, anytime). Start a running program or train for a race by joining a group, such as the Asheville Track Club. Regular group runs are held most days, at a variety of times and ability levels. Membership is $15 annually ($5 for students, $20 for a family).

10. Folk yeah!
It might be a little hokey, but it’s also a lot of fun. And, for those with little or no prior dance experience, the simple and repetitive steps of many world folk dances are are great starting point. Free international folk dance class is held every Tuesday, 7:30 p.m at Harvest House, 205 Kenilworth Rd., Asheville. Info: Lee or Gail Hyde, 253-4933.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

2 thoughts on “Real good for free: Exercise

  1. TokyoTaos

    Also – The Stephens-Lee Recreational Center off South Charlotte Street has a great free step aerobics class for women (also incorporating light weights, stretching and yoga) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. The center also has a good basic workout gym that only costs about $50 a year to be a member.

  2. dpewen

    While the great weather is here, go out and enjoy the biking trials at Bent Creek. It’s free and great exercise!!

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.