Ed Note: Here's an updated version of the 2011 post on cheap ways to get moving in Memphis.
Congratulations if you're still hanging on to your New Year's resolutions. Personally I'm not a fan of NY resolutions, because I relish the opportunity to start over every day rather than just one time a year. Whatever your philosophy on getting in shape/back in shape/staying in shape, here are 10 easy, inexpensive ways to combat all of the amazing food you’re going to eat in Memphis this year:
1. Join a team. Working out alone isn’t for everybody. For those of you that need a little bit of support, grab some friends and join the adult kick ball league, play some dodgeball, join roller derby or go Hashing.
2. Walk, run, skate or bike the Greenline. The seven-mile long paved trail runs along an old railroad line from Tillman and Walnut Grove in Midtown to Shelby Farms park in East Memphis. The trail is free and open daily from sunrise to sunset. By the end of the year, a two-mile long extension – the Hampline – will connect the Greenline to the existing Overton Park pathways.
The Greenline! (or part of it).
3. Become a member of Church Health Center Wellness, the "gym" run by the Church Health center. It's really much more than a gym – they offer workout, yoga and cooking classes, support for people recovering from illnesses, an arts and crafts room, programs for kids, basketball courts and a pool. The overall aura of acceptance makes it possibly the friendliest gym in town. Monthly membership fees are charged on a sliding scale based on income.
4. Take advantage of the 60+ miles of bike lanes that traverse the city. Whether you're using them for fun or for commuting, we've got lanes in five different neighborhoods and one route around the city core (go here for a map).
5. If you want to ride the Greenline or check out the bike lanes, but don’t have wheels, you can rent a bicycle for the day from Midtown Bike Co. on South Main. Bikes rent by the hour for $10, or about $35 for a full day.
6. Take advantage of Memphis’ huge urban parks. At Overton Park in Midtown, you can golf, walk through the Old Forest, play soccer or football on the giant field or play on the playground. At Shelby Farms, there are trails (both paved and not), horseback riding, playgrounds, paddle boats and plenty of wide open spaces.
Overton Park Rainbow Lake Playground
7. For those in need of a challenging and free work out, run the stairs that run up the bluffs downtown. The first trip up won’t be so bad, but subsequent trips may prove to be a bit of a challenge.
8. Join a free running group, like one of the several hosted by Breakaway Running, Outdoors, Inc., or Fleet Feet. They have groups for begineers, trail runners, and people who like to drink beer before and/or after their run. See more info on these respective sites: Breakaway Running, Outdoors, Inc., Fleet Feet.
9 . Attend a pay-what-you-can or community yoga class at one of several locations. The Cotton Museum downtown, in partnership with Evergreen Yoga, hosts PWYC classes from 7 a.m. – 8 a.m.every Tuesday morning. Midtown Yoga has $7 community drop-in classes from time to time (check their site for the schedule).
10. Train for the 2014 St. Jude Marathon. It’s not until December, so you’ve got plenty of time to get to a point where 26.2 miles is easy. Or, you know, easier.