Around Atlanta: Where to workout on a budget
You don’t need a fancy gym membership to get in shape. There are several affordable options in the metro Atlanta area that you can take advantage of that are free or little to no cost. Here’s my Atlanta guide on where to workout if you want to stay within budget.
If you want to get outdoors
There are plenty of fitness activities to do on the 22-mile-long trail wrapping around the city, known as the Beltline. The Beltline is filled with murals, restaurants, shops, and homes. But from sunrise to sunset, you can find people walking, running, and working out on the historic pathway. The Beltline has tons of budget-friendly activities for everyone, including walking tours, bike tours, races, and fitness classes taking place daily.
Piedmont Park has tons of activities if you want to get in shape. You can run or walk along the paths surrounding the park. If you’re into swim and tennis, the park has tennis courts and pool. The pool operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Pool admission is only $5 a person. The historic park also offers free yoga every fourth Monday of the month. There are other fitness festivals and classes that take place at the park throughout the year. The price for each class varies but a percentage of the proceeds are donated to the Piedmont Park Conservatory.
Adjacent to Atlanta’s Beltline and Ponce City Market, this park has free workouts for every fitness level that takes place almost every day throughout the week. The Old Fourth Ward Park also has a skate park that offers free skateboarding lessons.
Are you a nature enthusiast? You’ll love hiking the trails along the East, and West Palisades Trails Chattahoochee River. The hiking trails extend in two different directions east and west. Novice hikers should take the West Palisades Trail which is paved 3 miles in one direction. The Eastern part of the trail is a little bit more rugged but has fantastic scenic views. Admission to the park is free.
Admission to the park isn’t free, but an annual general membership to the park is $59. The year-long membership gives you access to all of the park attractions for free. The park includes 15 miles of hiking trails throughout the park, a five-mile walking path at the base of the mountain, and a 1-mile walk-up trail to the top. If walking isn’t your thing, the park has several other activities that will get the body moving like kayaking, golf, tennis, and paddleboarding.
The Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield is a Historic National Battlefield that is open daily and open to the public for free. Kennesaw Mountain is filled with hiking trails and horse trails. If you're looking for a great workout, hike up the one-mile trail to the top. You might even spot a few deer while hiking on the trail.
Chastain Park is known for its beautiful concert amphitheater, but the park also has excellent recreational features like free running and walking trails. The 5-mile trail is perfect for a scenic walk or runs this fall. The park also has some other great low-cost amenities like its pool, tennis courts, golfing, horse park, and recreational leagues.
If you like group exercise
Every Wednesday from May to September, Colony Square in Midtown offers free yoga classes from 6-7 p.m. The fun thing about this fitness experience is that after attending five sessions, you are entered into a raffle for a chance to take a rooftop yoga class on the helipad. (I had an opportunity to take rooftop class last year and it was a fantastic experience to take a yoga class surrounded by the city skyline)
You can take yoga classes at the Old Fourth Ward Park every Sunday at 7 p.m. until the end of October. The park fills up fast with yogis so arrive early to secure the best spot. At the end of each class, you can enjoy a nice refreshing King of Pops.
Every Wednesday at Atlantic Station’s Millennium Gate Park you can attend free yoga classes until the end of September. The class takes place from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Lululemon Atlanta workout series
Free workout classes at Lululemon, who knew? At various Lululemon locations throughout Atlanta, they offer free workout classes throughout the week. To mix things up each week, a new class format is provided. A few years ago, I took a Kettlebell workout class which was intense and amazing. Check each locations Facebook page to discover the class schedule.
Monday-Friday, The Home Depot Backyard next to the Mercedes Benz Stadium, offers free fitness classes from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The class line up features some of Atlanta’s hottest personal trainers and fitness instructors teaching yoga, boot camp, dance fitness, cardio, strength training, and kickboxing. Check out their website for the full calendar of events.
As a part of their wellness series, The Battery Atlanta offers free yoga classes on Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. until the end of October. Parking is free to all yoga participants.
Every Saturday morning at the High Note Rooftop Bar located at the Moxy hotel in Midtown, fitness enthusiasts can take free fitness classes from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. The #selfcaresaturday event features classes from some of Atlanta’s hottest fitness studios.
If you still want access to a gym
I’m a member of the YMCA Atlanta. I love that the membership comes with so many great perks. They have over 50 fitness classes taught weekly from certified fitness instructors. The class line up includes spin, kickboxing, hip hop, Zumba, Strong by Zumba, dance, strength training, and so much more. If group fitness classes aren’t your thing, you can partake in tennis, swimming, walking or running on their indoor track or using the state of the art fitness facility. I love that the YMCA is friendly for all ages and lifestyles. The membership is under $80 a month and comes with free personal training and wellness coaching.
ClassPass is a relatively inexpensive way to test out boutique fitness classes in the Atlanta area without any commitment or membership. Before signing up for the program, you get a one-month free trial to see if you like the app. After the trial period ends, you pay a monthly fee to obtain credits to try out different styles of fitness classes in the area. So if you want to do kickboxing one day and yoga the next you can with this subscription program.
Mind Body is a fitness booking app that lets you sign up for classes in your area. The great thing about the app is that in the interface you can see last-minute deals for boutique fitness studios in your area.
Did I miss something? Where are your favorite places to workout in Atlanta that don’t cost an arm and a leg? Comment below.