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May 14, 2015

No gym membership? No excuse

Five free outdoor workout options in Philadelphia

We spent the winter wishing for warmer weather and cursing the cold. 

Now, it seems almost sacrilegious to exercise indoors.

To help you make the most of the season in Philadelphia, we present five free ways to bring your workout outdoors, while also saving money (no gym membership needed). 

Tag along on a recreational bike ride

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Embracing an “urban bike” lifestyle can provide city residents with a wide range of benefits. (AP)

The Bicycle Club of Philadelphia is an all-volunteer nonprofit that promotes cycling in the city with free group rides for all skill levels throughout the year.

Check out PCB's ride calendar to find upcoming rides that match your fitness level, preferred distance and pace. It's BYOB (bike), but if you don't own a bike, you can rent one from Philly's new bike share service, Indego, with pickup and drop-off sites throughout the city.

While you're at it, plug into CyclePhillya smartphone app that records your bicycle trips and sends data to regional transportation planners to make Philly a better place to ride.

Try a yoga class

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Stop by any day of the week for a free hour-long yoga session on the pier. (Yoga on the Pier/Facebook.)

In what’s become a daily ritual in the city, colorful yoga mats collect on the concrete at Race Street Pier on the Delaware waterfront as yogis unite for all-level yoga classes.

Led by certified instructors from Dhyana Yoga, the one-hour classes are held in both the morning and evening hours, weather permitting. All you need to bring is a mat.

On Monday through Thursday, classes are offered at both 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., on Friday at 7 a.m., and on Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

Join a running club

Just show up and run. (AP)

Philly Runners is a free to join all-skills running club.

All are welcome, regardless of pace or distance. Just show up on time and run. 

Runs typically depart at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 9 a.m. on Saturdays. For a full schedule and details, click here.

Take a shelter dog on a walk or hike

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Dogs make excellent exercise motivators. (AP)

The best workout buddies have fur. Don't have a pup and not ready to adopt? Take a shelter dog on an adventure with you. 

There are several animal shelters throughout the city that rely on volunteers to make sure the animals get exercise and playtime, like Street Tails Animal Rescue in Northern Liberties and the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT.)

Explore your city on a walking tour

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Philadelphia is home to one of the largest urban park systems in the U.S. (AP)


You'd be surprised at how many unknown places you will stumble upon while being a tourist in your own town.

Randy Olson, a fourth-year computer science graduate research assistant at Michigan State University, used data analysis to map out a 12-mile optimized walking tour of Philadelphia that takes you past some of the best sights the city has to offer, including Fairmount Park, the Philadelphia Zoo and Reading Terminal Market.

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