How to Get Exercise When You Don’t Have a Gym Membership

We needed a way to replace our gym membership since it expired at the beginning of the summer. Wanting to try a more frugal route that had a lot of variation, we opted to work out in the park. Therefore, solution = ghetto workouts in the park.

Now, I don’t recommend this for people who live in a climate like Seattle, where the weather is dreary and rainy for about nine months out of the year, or for anyone who is a beginner. This is especially true because it is difficult to stay motivated when no one else is working out at the park except for children.


Me doing pull-ups on Venice Beach. One of the highlights of the year!

We are pretty lucky to live right by a large park with benches, a bigfield, pull-up bar, and lots of sports going on like tennis, soccer, baseball, frisbee, etc.

My personal favorite workout routine went like this:

Take a deck of cards with you to the park. Assign one workout to each suit. We chose cardio for hearts (laps around the wading pool), diamonds for push-ups, squats or box jumps for clubs, and pull-ups were spades. Shuffle the deck. Now, flip a card over. The suit will dictate which workout you do, and the number on the card is how many reps you will complete. We got through about a third of the deck in an hour or so.

This was a huge success in our workouts. I often don’t know which workout I want to do next whenever I’m working out on my own, so it was very helpful to have the deck of cards boss me around and tell me what to do. Highly recommended.

The other nice thing about working out in the park during the summer months is that our routine was changed up often and we were able to try out new things and enjoy the nice weather. Sometimes there were parades, or weddings, or we saw cute puppies playing in the field. Every day was a new adventure.


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2 Comments on “How to Get Exercise When You Don’t Have a Gym Membership

  1. We played cards like this a few times where the losers would do their total amount of pushups, situps, or seconds of wall sits, after each round =)

    • Awesome, Samson! That sounds like a fun twist to put on the fitness game. Thanks for stopping by the blog. I’m terrible about responding to comments quickly… 🙂