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Alternative Workout Ideas that Won’t Break the Bank

If you hate running, please raise your hand. Me too! I despise running, and generally dislike biking too. I get bored so quickly and I can never seem to feel that clarity and calmness that most people find when they run or bike. But I have a problem because I know running is one of the best ways to get exercise – it’s quick, efficient, and works more than just your legs. So I’ve compiled a list of the best alternative work outs. I’ve also listed the workouts in order of budget (most expensive to least expensive). College students generally live on a tight budget, so exercising has to take into consideration our lack of money. This list features ways of working out that are fun, exciting and won’t break the bank. So without further ado, let’s jump right in and get fit!


Image courtesy of Fair Trade Yoga Studio


1. Pole Dancing

Hear me out! Pole dancing workouts are harder than they seem and extremely empowering (so I’ve heard, I’ve never actually taken one). There is a gym close to campus called Extend Fitness Studio that offers multiples classes each day from beginner’s pole dancing to aerial hoop dancing. The gym offers multiple levels of membership, from $49/month to $130/month.

2. Krav maga

Krav Maga is a form of martial arts created and inspired by the Israeli Defense Force. It teaches self-defense, stress management, fitness fundamentals and working with your own body. Krav Maga DFW has gyms all over the city and offers self-defense, fitness and training classes guaranteed to make you stronger, more prepared for dangerous situations and more self-confident. The monthly memberships will run you $89/month but the gym also offers a free trial and a class-by-class pass for $20 per class.

I know the last couples of options have been on the pricier side, so here are a couple of memberships you can get for less than $50/month, which is less than half of what a traditional gym would cost you.


Image via Buzzfeed


3. Rock Climbing

This is my favorite mode of alternative exercise. Indoor rock climbing is a tough workout, and you will end up exhausted by the time you leave, but it is always interesting and different. Every route is like a puzzle to solve, and it always works every single part of your body. You’ll find yourself sore in places you didn’t even know you had muscles. Lucky for us, Summit Climbing is a gym with locations across DFW, and it not only offers massive indoor climbing spaces, but yoga and fitness classes included with the monthly membership. And it gets better – they offer a student discount! Traditional membership is $60/month but only $45 for students. I use these gyms as my main workout space because I can take a TRX suspension class, yoga, stretching or just hop on a wall and climb.

4. Paddleboard yoga

I hate yoga. I wish I loved it but I just can’t get over the awkward positions and boring breathing. But SUP DFW offers paddleboard yoga, aqua yoga, paddleboarding and wake surfing on Lake Grapevine, in Frisco and Little Elm (not exactly close, but if you’re from a coastal city and missing the water, it’s worth the trek). Monthly memberships give you unlimited classes, equipment rental on any lake, wake surfing lessons, and access to events, for only $45/month. If you don’t want to buy a membership, you can take any of the classes for $30 each.

5. Trapeze

Join the circus and try a trapeze workout. Vertical Fitness Dallas is a gym specializing in aerial fitness of all kinds – aerial yoga, trapeze, swinging hoop, and more. For only $25 per class, you can learn how to fly through the air, jump from bar to bar, and get a workout at the same time. I’d say that’s infinitely better than running on a treadmill staring at a TV.

6. SMU gym

Here’s the truth – you’re a student, you get free access to SMU’s incredible fitness facilities and classes. SMU’s gym is better than most, offers swimming, basketball, rock climbing, tennis, a fitness center, classes like yoga, Pilates and spin- and all of it is included in your tuition. If you are really tight on your budget, or you don’t want to travel off campus to exercise, take advantage of what you have right in your backyard. Plus, it’s likely this will be the last time in your life that you can access a gym totally free.


Now go forth and perspire! 


Image courtesy of Picsmine.com


Dalya is a senior at SMU studying Advertising and Jewish Studies. She is President of Advertising Club and Associate Editor of Her Campus SMU and is the social media coordinator for Intergem Fine Jewelry at Dallas Market Center. She is a proud born and bred Texan, an amatuer foodie, and takes her coffee black. 
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