Ten Cheap Ways to Get Moving In Memphis
Whether you’re big on New Year’s resolutions, interested in working out, trying to brag on your Instagram, or even if you totally reject the fitness industrial complex…here are 10 easy, inexpensive ways to exercise / workout / get moving / enjoy the outdoors in Memphis this year.
Here’s your list:
1. Walk, run, skate or bike the Shelby Farms Greenline – free
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. At some point, allegedly, a two-mile long extension—the Hampline—will connect the Greenline to the existing Overton Park pathways and Old Forest Trail.
The Greenline! (or part of it).
2. Take advantage of the 60+ miles of bike lanes that traverse the city – free
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). You can even ride across the Mississippi on the Big River Crossing bridge. Don’t have a bike? See #3.
3. Join Explore Bike Share – $5/two hours or $15 month/unlimited one-hour rides
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If you want to ride the Greenline or check out the bike lanes…or want to try to get in some miles in but don’t have wheels, you have to check out the Explore Bike Share program that launched in Memphis in 2018. There are 60 stations (downtown, midtown, and South Memphis) and 600 bicycles. and you can rent bikes on a daily, monthly or yearly basis via the Bcycle app on your smartphone, or the kiosks located at bike stations. Get all the membership info.
4. Take advantage of Memphis’ many parks – free
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
5. Run/Walk/Climb/Gasp Your Way Up The Stairs – free
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.
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6. Join a free running group – free
There are many hosted by Breakaway Running, Outdoors, Inc., Fleet Feet, or other groups. They have groups for beginners, trail runners, and people who like to drink beer before and/or after their run. There are groups for people in all parts of town. Check out all the groups here.
7. Train for the 2021 St. Jude Marathon – free to train, but donations are a part of the plan!
It’s not until December 4, 2021, so you’ve got plenty of time to get to a point where 26.2 miles is easy. Or, you know, easier. Even if the 2021 Marathon doesn’t happen in-person and en masse again this year, St. Jude will likely still facilitate a virtual experience like they did for 2020. Registration will open later this year, and fundraising efforts will be more important than ever.
8. Reach new heights at High Point Climbing and Memphis Rox Climbing gyms (rates vary)
Memphis boasts two world-class climbing gyms. High Point, just west of Shelby Farms, offers several climbing walls, a bouldering room, a kids’ area, and yoga classes. They kind of break our “cheap” requirement at $24.50 for an adult day pass, but monthly $69 memberships are worth it if you plan to climb a lot. Memphis Rox in South Memphis has a pay-what-you-can model and is made for climbers of all levels. Read all the details here. Be sure to read about and follow all their their covid safety protocols.
9. Get Out And Go Hiking – free
Explore hiking trails in and near Memphis! Here are a few to get you started:
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Shelby Farms Park
T.O. Fuller State Park
Herb Parsons Lake Trail
Tour de Wolf Trail (includes Shelby Farms and Greenline)
Wolf River Greenway trail sections (more walking than “hiking”)
11. Take A Virtual or Outdoors Class – usually less than $10
Yes, there are some affordable classes! Do some googling and Facebook searching and you can find a few. Off the top of my head, David Quarles in Memphis hosts online Zoom Zumba classes for $3 – $5 and you can sign up here; Any Body Yoga offers virtual workout classes, too.
Pay-what-you-can classes were available at some yoga studios pre-pandemic, and last summer and fall, local orgs like Downtown Memphis Commission and the Levitt Shell hosted free online workouts.
Please let me know if you have any information on cheap virtual classes, and I’ll keep looking!
12. Join a team – usually $10-$30
This one’s not exactly relevant at this time due to the pandemic, but I’m keeping it on the list for future reference…Working out alone isn’t for everybody. For those of you that need a little bit of support, grab some friends and join some adult sports. Most of them only require smaller fees. There are more than ever in Memphis now:
– The City of Memphis hosts leagues for softball, kickball, basketball, soccer, flag football and coed volleyball
– Grind City Memphis is an organization that hosts leagues for flag football and soccer.
– Riverfront Parks Partnership has hosted soccer tournaments and leagues in the past.
– Memphis Roller Derby has teams and rec league play.
– The Memphis Hash House Harriers are a drinking club with a running problem.
– 901 Volleyball hosts their own sand volleyball tournaments at Railgarten, and keeps tabs on local volleyball leagues and tourneys in the area.
Got more ideas? Leave ’em in the comments.