Pricey gyms and exercise classes aren’t the only the way to get fit. There are many low cost activities you can use to get fit without ever stepping into a gym. Lose yourself in a moment of fun while getting the added benefit of a nice workout.

1. Disc Golf

Disc Golf Basket
Disc Golf Basket

Disc golf was invented in the early 1900s but has recently been exploding in popularity. Today over 8,000 courses exist in the US alone. From the casual player to the elite professional, disc golf is a low cost way to get fit without feeling like you’re doing a workout.

What is it? Disc golf is similar to regular golf, except instead of a ball, a flying disc or frisbee is used. Players typically play on a 18-hole course in a park area. Players “tee” off from the start of a hole and aim to sink their flying disk in a basket at the end of the hole.
Initial InvestmentLess than $20 – a beginner’s set of discs can be purchased at many stores for less than $20.

Check out Amazon for current pricing and options.
Cost per activity Free to $ per round.

Disc golf can be played in many parks (city, state or national) and typically are free or require either a small donation or entrance fee into the park.
Calories burned per hour
(150 lb person)
Approx 920 calories for one round of disc golf (approx 2 hours of game play).
Where to buy equipment?Sporting goods stores, or major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, etc.
Top gear needed-Sturdy hiking shoes or tennis shoes
-Set of flying discs
-Weather appropriate clothing
Where to play? Play at over 8000+ disc golf courses in the US. Find a course near you.
Learn moreUltimate guide to Disc Golf

2. Climbing Stairs

Stair climbing is a great free activity to get fit fast. You can turn stair climbing into a full body workout by carrying weight with you. It can be used as a vigorous cardio burning workout or a slow deliberate climb to burn a few extra calories.

What is it? Stair climbing is the act of walking, running, or otherwise moving up a set of stairs.
Initial InvestmentFree
Cost per activity Free
Calories burned per hour
(150 lb person)
-Descending Stairs: 251
-Climbing – slow: 286
-Climbing – fast: 630
-Running: 1074
-Carrying a load: 594

Use this calculator to estimate your personal estimate for burning calories while climbing stairs.
Where to buy equipment?No special equipment needed.
Top Gear-Sturdy tennis shoes or workout shoes
-Weather appropriate clothing
Where to climb? There are many free places to climb stairs:
-Your office building
-The mall
-Outdoor stadiums/bleachers accessible to the public
-Outdoor stairs around the city
-Your apartment building
-Stairs in your home
-Anywhere you can find publicly accessible stairs!

3. Hiking

Hiking in the mountains
What is it? Hiking is the activity of going for long walks, especially in wooded areas, mountains or the countryside.
Initial InvestmentFree to $$$$

You can grab existing clothing & shoes and head out, or spend ten, hundreds or thousands on specialized hiking gear. The skies the limit.
Cost per activity Free or $

Hiking can be enjoyed year-round in many locations for a very low cost (either free or for the cost of a pass to a local park).
Calories burned per hour
(150 lb person)
Average calories: 409

Use this calculator to check your personal estimate for burning calories while hiking.
Where to buy equipment?Specialized hiking gear can be purchased at sporting goods store or major retailers such as Amazon or REI.
Top Gear-Hiking shoes
-Backpack
-Water
-10 Essentials of hiking
-Weather appropriate clothing
Where to hike? -Parks
-Mountains
-Trails
-and many more.

Check out TrailLink to find a hike near you.

4. Volunteer

Blackberry Removal and Park Clean Up
What is it? Volunteering is a great way to burn calories while giving back to your community. Volunteer activities take on various forms, such as: trail clean-up, packing/sorting food at your local food bank, cleaning/painting shelters, park clean up, and many more .
Initial InvestmentFree
Cost per activity Free

Volunteering is a free activity!
Calories burned per hour
(150 lb person)
Varies depending on the activity.

-Heavy Yard work or Mulching: 374
-Regular Yard Work: 272
-Food Bank Volunteer: 139
Where to buy equipment?Most equipment needed will likely be supplied by the organization you’re volunteering for.
Top GearVaries based on activity.
Where to volunteer? -Mountaineers Club
-Habitat for Humanity
-Trail Clubs
-and many more.

Think outside the gym for some alternatives to getting and staying fit. Your wallet and your waistline will thank you.

The information contained on this website is for entertainment purposes only and references only opinions of the author. Nothing contained within should be considered professional, financial, legal, tax, psychological, health, safety or investment advice. Seek advice from a duly licensed and/or registered professional that can help with your specific situation.