10 Cheap Ways to Get Moving In Memphis (Updated)

Posted by Holly Whitfield | January 22nd 2014 4796 0

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. Soon, 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, including River Fit. 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. Downtown, check out the River Fit fitness course at Tom Lee Park and get in shape right by the river.

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.

10. Train for the 2016 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.

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Show Comments


  1. Teresa Faulk says:


    We have a group on Facebook called Outdoors Inc Trail Running where people can connect for trail runs and learn the trail system in Memphis and Shelby County.



  2. MaulHer says:

    Thanks so much for including us (Memphis Roller Derby) in your list of cheap ways to get moving in Memphis!

  3. polly agee says:

    that pay what you can yoga is supposed to be super fantastic. i have gone to evergreen yoga for the past 6 1/2 years and Leah is the most unbelievable teacher i know. well worth it and couldn't ask for a better start to your day. (i hate i'm not downtown on Tuesdays 🙁 )

  4. Keshia says:

    Check out the Memphis Hash House Harriers.  We are a very fun social running/urban exploration beer loving group.  Our website is http://www.memphish3.com and we have an active Facebook page.

  5. Random H3 says:

    Due to the success of Memphis H3, a second group has come about in our fair city. Visit Random H3 for more information. Come ready for a good time — both groups have the number one objective of fun for all and maybe a little incidental exercise on the way to a cold beverage.

  6. Yoga with Leah Bray Nichols at the Cotton Museum has been SUCH a fantastic way to start our Tuesdays. Thanks for writing about us, Holly!

  7. Fleet Feet Sports also has several free weekly runs! Mondays at 6pm is our Fun Run and Thursdays at 6pm is a Track or Hill workout. They both leave from the store in Laurelwood. We're also planning a FREE pub run series this year. More information is on our website: fleetfeetmemphis.com

  8. Mhud says:

    Fit Nation is an Awesome organization that focuses on getting fit and healthy while building relationships. Plenty off free workouts across the city. http://www.wearefitnation.com

  9. If you're a swimmer looking for a different athletic endeavor, Bluff City Water Polo is just getting started in the Memphis area. We'll take all ages and experience levels. Send us an email at bcwp@bcwp.org for more info.

  10. Hey Holly! Thank you for including us on your list of cheap ways to get fit in Memphis. We tend to agree – we are so much more than a gym. We're a community!

  11. RiverFit is awesome! Also, if you've mastered the stairs on the bluff, try the grass hill next to the stairs!  Ouch! 🙂

  12. Jessica G says:

    Thanks for including Breakaway Running store on your 10 Cheap Ways To Get Moving in Memphis. I was a fairly competitive runner in high school and took a 5 year break in college… I started back casually running with a friend and then was introduced to Breakaway's free running groups, along with the @SaltyDogRunners (downtown from Bardog). I have to admit not ever going to a group run was extremely intimidating and all I could think was "I am not a runner anymore"… "I will be left behind" … but Breakaway and the Memphis running community welcomed me and my friend(s) with open arms AND complimentary ice cold adult beverages afterwards. 5 years later… I am not only in love with Breakaway (and their staff), but the Memphis running community in general. Thanks again. 
    Follow Breakaway Running on Facebook for latest running events and stuff… https://www.facebook.com/BreakawayRunning 
    Shop Local, Run Global 

  13. Amy Lenkszus says:

    Sumits Yoga is opening its first Memphis-area studio, located between East Memphis and Germantown at the Carrefour shopping complex.  Come celebrate Grand Opening with FREE yoga on Saturday and Sunday at 10am & 3pm.  Sign up on our website to save your spot!  Sumits also offers 2 weeks unlimited yoga for $20 for new students!

Leave a Comment