Sweat for Free in NYC

Camille Larkins
Bikes are available at most NYU residence halls and buildings around campus, making both exercise and transportation easily accessible and free.

For anyone who is trying to get active on campus, the Palladium gym isn’t the only option for working out. Many students may not be aware of it, but there are a number of NYU clubs and health organizations that offer free exercise classes for students. Now you have no excuse to skip working out — here’s a list of the best free classes on campus.


MindfulNYU offers a wide variety of yoga and meditation classes every week in GCASL. Seriously, there are too many weekly classes to list here — it offers morning and evening sessions daily, and even has them on the weekend. There are beginner, intermediate, advanced and all-level classes in which you can work at your own comfort level toward tranquility and strength. No matter what your schedule looks like, it’s possible to fit in some personal awareness, stress relief and physical exercise without leaving campus.

Tai Chi in Washington Square Park

Every Tuesday at 9 a.m., the New York City Parks Department provides free tai chi classes in Washington Square Park. You might be the only person there under the age of 60, but it’s a free and convenient way to start your day with exercise.

NYU Bikeshare

While not technically a group fitness class, the bikeshare at NYU is a super valuable resource to check out. It is completely free to NYU community members and only requires that you watch a short safety video and complete a quiz upon registration. Then you can check out a bike, lock and helmet from one of 14 NYU buildings for an entire day. Biking is not only convenient, but fun and great for exercise. Take a solo ride down to Battery Park or get some friends together and ride to Central Park for a picnic!

The Rise/NYC Informal Running Club

In your dream life, you are someone who loves waking up before sunrise to run. In real life, you probably hate waking up and working out as separate entities, let alone together. However, the supportive, energetic atmosphere at The Rise will totally help you become your ideal morning workout-loving self. Every Monday at 6:30 a.m., this very casual (no registration required) group meets by the fountain in Washington Square Park for a high intensity interval workout. If early mornings really aren’t your thing, the self-proclaimed Most Informal Running Club Ever hosts Saturday brunch and Monday evening runs on the East River Track as well.

NYU Recreation Courses

An assortment of recreation courses are held in Palladium and 404 Lafayette every quarter. Fall quarter registration is happening right now until Oct. 26, and there are tons of activities — such as ballet, Broadway jazz dancing, cardio kickboxing and judo — and levels from which to choose. Even though these courses are not free (fees range from $20-$60 for group classes), they are convenient and worth checking out.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 17 print edition. Email Camille Larkins at [email protected]



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