I decided to cancel my gym membership this summer. I hadn’t gone to the gym in weeks and knew I was wasting money by keeping my membership.

In the past, I would have just lied to myself and set an empty goal to somehow get back into a routine at the gym. That never happened in the past, and I always just ended up wasting money on a service I wasn’t using.

So I chose to cancel my membership and add the extra money back into my budget. However, I still want to get back in shape this summer and possibly even lose some weight.

If you’re in a similar boat or just never went to the gym in the first place, here are some fun and easy ways to get fit this summer without a gym membership.

Walk or Run

This is one of the easiest ways to exercise this summer. Plus it’s free! Walking is good for your health and can even help you live longer. Running can help increase your heart rate and help you get a good cardio workout.

I’m not the biggest fan of running, but I have been power walking a few miles per day. Being able to take my dog out for a walk helps motivate me as well.

If you need motivation to run this summer, check out apps like CK25 that train you to run a 5k in as little as 8 weeks. You can also sign up for races and 5ks for causes that you care about. Then train during the week to prepare and improve your level of fitness.

Alternative Outdoor Cardio Exercises

Aside from walking and running, there are plenty of other ways to get a cardio workout in this summer. You can ride your bike or jump rope.

I’ve seen videos of people who actually jump rope for sport. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up and you can get a speed rope from most stores for under $10.

Consider riding your bike along local trails this summer or you can even join a local meetup group to connect with other bikers in the area.

You can also try rollerblading or swimming. Your community pool may offer discounts on certain days or hours. With rollerblades, you only have to purchase them once and you can use them for a long time.

Watch YouTube Videos

This is another popular way to get fit without a gym membership. If you enjoy fitness routines and group workouts, there are plenty of YouTube channels that share free videos for you to use.

Just search for whatever workout routine you’re interested in and tons of options are bound to pop up ranging from yoga and pilates to strength training and full body workout routines.

I’m no expert at exercising, so these videos always come in handy when I need to mix up my routine.  

Play a Sport

In high school, I played basketball and was in such good shape thanks to the multiple games and practices we had each week. If you’re looking for a different way to stay active as an adult, consider join a sports league through your local park district or another organization.

Yes, you will still probably have to pay a fee or some sort along with other gear, but these are one-time costs that can be split along all team members.

Your sporting activity doesn’t have to be super formal either. You can grab a few friends and commit to playing beach volleyball or basketball in the park each week.

Invest In Some Free Weights

You can still lift weights and do strength training without a gym membership. All you need to do is invest in some free weights and basic gym equipment. You can look for sales on home gym equipment and weights both online and offline.  

Just start with two different sets of weights to begin with. Consider getting a resistance band as well so you can do different exercises at home.

Realize that you can also use your body weight for exercises to help you build strength and muscle as well. Push-ups, planks, squats, and tricep dips are all bodyweight exercises that you can use to build strength.

Spend More Time in Nature

Getting up, out of the house, and spending more time in nature will naturally help you get fit this summer without a gym membership. You can go on hikes multiple times per week and check out different state parks in your area.

You can also do some canoeing or kayaking which is a pretty cheap way to get an excellent upper body workout.


Having a gym membership isn’t the only way to exercise and stay active this summer. With the warmer weather in most areas, you’ll be more motivated to get out and do activities that keep you moving. Plus, you’ll save money.

Still, you can always work out in the house with the AC on. There are tons of free apps and YouTube channels that will provide you with direction and guidance.

The best thing I’m doing this summer is still sticking to a routine even though I don’t have a gym membership. Choose what your favorite activities are, then determine when you’ll do them and add them to your calendar.


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