Working out at lunchtime is a convenient option for many employees, including those with busy home lives and multiple obligations before and after work. However, exercising away from home can come with a hefty price tag, especially for those of us who work in Boston. Fortunately, and surprisingly, there are many low-cost (and in some cases, no-cost!) ways to fit in your recommended 30 minutes a day of exercise during lunchtime.
Gyms are many people’s go-to place to exercise. There are many gyms in Boston, some of them pricier than others. The lowest-cost gym chain around is probably Planet Fitness, which offers basic exercise equipment and rates as low as $10/month and is conveniently located near Government Center at One Washington Street. Planet Fitness has many locations throughout the state, so even if your office is located outside of the city, you may still be able to take advantage of this low-cost exercise option.
In addition to Planet Fitness, other inexpensive gyms in the area include the YMCA (with locations in Charlestown, Chinatown, East Boston, and the Back Bay) and the Boys and Girls Club. An additional opportunity exists for DMH employees to take advantage of a no-cost gym option: the Lindemann Health Center’s gym is available for DMH employees to use for free.
Looking to join a pick-up game at lunchtime or after work? Basketball City’s Open Play offers some of the best pick-up games around, as well as the opportunity to use Basketball City’s fitness equipment and locker room/showers. Open Play hours are Monday-Wednesday 9:00am – 9:00 pm and Thursdays and Fridays 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, and the drop-in rate is $10 per person per session. Basketball City is located near North Station; call (617) 742-6700 for court availability.
If you need to make a quick trip to run an errand, or just want to break up your typical lunchtime walking routine, you can take advantage of Hubway, Boston’s bike sharing service. Hubway has pick-up and drop-off locations throughout the city, many of them near State office buildings and T stations. After paying a nominal annual or daily fee to use the service, every trip under 30 minutes is free.
When it comes inexpensive outdoor activities, the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s facilities are a little-known secret. DCR operates a number of pools and trails throughout the state, as well as the Ebersol Fields on the Esplanade. All of DCR’s facilities are available either free of charge or at a very low cost.
No matter how you’d like to exercise during your lunch hour, there is sure to be something that fits the bill in the Boston area. I encourage you to take advantage of the many free and inexpensive options in and around the city , especially when the weather is nice and outdoor exercise opportunities are plentiful.