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4 fitness classes in Boston you can take for free this summer

A Tuesday evening Zumba class at Boston's Hatch Memorial Shell. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
A Tuesday evening Zumba class at Boston's Hatch Memorial Shell. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's Saturday morning newsletter, The Weekender. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here

I’m trying to spend more time exercising now that summery weather is here (going for a run or a swim is just unbearable when it’s cold out). But I don’t plan on spending more money than necessary to get a good workout in.

Keeping a membership for a gym, studio or attending regular classes can be expensive (and in some cases, inconvenient or inaccessible.) And many of us know that trying to get out of a gym contract is like trying to find a parking spot in Southie: pointless and frustrating.

If you’d like to ditch the gym this summer in favor of a more cost-effective, flexible workout, here are some tips from NPR’s Life Kit on how to start exercising on your own. If you’d rather take a group class — which makes for a more enjoyable experience, according to a 2019 study — here are four free fitness classes in Boston that can help you find a workout community, without the price tag.

Seaport Sweat, a free, instructor-led outdoor exercise series held on the Seaport Common, is returning this month for its eighth season. There’s a variety of classes and instructors, from Zumba and Pilates to athletic conditioning and HIIT workouts. No equipment is required, though you can bring a mat if you’d like.

The City of Boston is offering its free fitness programming, Boston Parks Fitness Series, again this year. Classes will be held across 18 different parks and led by certified fitness instructors. Depending on the location, you’ll have a chance to line dance, take tai chi, try yoga (and chair yoga) among other classes from now until early September. Find the full list of events (and check whether you’ll need equipment for them) here.

Wanna go for a run? Healthworks, a gym for women and nonbinary people, is organizing several weeks of free running groups this summer at three of its locations: the Financial District, Coolidge Corner and Back Bay. For those tight on time, the “RUN + RESTORE” series only requires an hour — 30 minutes for a city run and 20 minutes for a cool-down.

  • Taking the T? The Financial District location (inside Republic Fitness) is a seven-minute walk from State. The Coolidge Corner and Back Bay locations are a three-minute and one-minute walk, respectively, from their similarly named T stations.

November Project: Born in Boston, November Project’s mission is to get people working out together, no matter the weather. You can expect to join in on organized HIIT workouts, bodyweight exercises, runs and circuit training all year long. The group convenes across Boston on weekdays at 6:30 a.m. in different locations, so check their schedule to find a session that works for you.

P.S. — What are the ways you stay moving and active on a budget? Reply to this email and let us know. Your responses could be featured in a future newsletter.

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Hanna Ali Associate Producer
Hanna Ali is an associate producer for newsletters at WBUR.



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