As we slowly ease into fall, we get into our loose sweaters and forget all about "summer bodies". Between school, work, and you trying to keep up with your social life, going to the gym and eating healthy can be a chore - especially if you're on a tight budget.

But in Ottawa, we're lucky to be surrounded by nature and great city programs. There are plenty of ways to stay fit and have fun, whether you're looking for an intense workout or just something to do with your friends.

Here are 10 Inexpensive Ways You Can Stay Fit In Ottawa Without A Gym Membership:


1. Kayaking/Canoeing

If you live in Ottawa and haven't done this with your friends at least once, have you really lived here? If you don't own one, kayak/canoe rentals are easy to find and take to any Ottawa waterway.

Popular Spots: Rideau Canal, Dow's Lake, Petrie Island


2. Stand Up Paddle Boarding

This is one of the hottest trends in outdoor fitness right now. As easy as this looks, it's a crazy (but fun) upper body workout - perfect to show off on Instagram.

Popular Spots: Mooney's Bay, Rideau River, Britannia Beach


3. Hiking

We're lucky to live in a city with so much nature. Why not take advantage of it? Fall is an especially good time to go hiking and take in the views as leaves change colours and the chilly air cools you off during your cardio workout.

Popular Spots: Gatineau, the Greenbelt


 4. Biking

Ottawa is a cycling city. Take advantage of the many pathways and bike lanes on roads, and take your camera with you for sightseeing along the way.

Popular Spots: Check out this Cycling the Capital Pathways guide


5. Walking

The easiest way to get your photography and your workout in. Ottawa is filled with lots of scenic walking pathways, both in the city and at close driving distances. If you're looking for some alone time with beautiful views, this is your workout.

Popular Spots: Check out this Hiking and Walking in the Greenbelt guide


6. Running

The cheapest workout possible. If you don't prefer to run alone, you can always grab your friends and turn it into a fun outing. Groups like The Running Room also offer running programs and clubs - which can help improve your fitness level while meeting new people.

Popular Spots:  Check out this Multi-use Paths in the Capital guide.


7. Yoga

Even though Parliament Hill Yoga Season is over, there's still plenty of ways to get it in during the colder months. Ottawa is home to a lot of affordable (and free) yoga - grab your mat.

Popular Spots: Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and Odawa Native Friendship Centre offer free classes, while studios like Elevate YogaYogatown Ottawa, and Pure Yoga have inexpensive drop-in classes and memberships.


8. Swimming

While you can't lay poolside and tan here, you can still get in a good workout. Pickup swimming in public pools across the city are great places to visit for cardio with friends.

Popular Spots: The City of Ottawa offers inexpensive public swimming times


9. Pickup Soccer

If you're in the mood for something competitive, this one's for you. Pickup soccer is available at different centres across the city, and they're usually either free or really cheap. You can bring your friends to play with you, or go solo to meet new people and enjoy the game.

Popular Spots: has an entire page full of people across the city looking for more pickup players.


10. Rock Climbing

Exercise that doesn't feel like exercise. Rock Climbing is probably the best way to bring friends of all fitness levels together for a fun workout. While it can get expensive, there still are places around the city that offer cheap climbs.

Popular Spots: Vertical Reality offers a full day pass for only $14

Start the Conversation
Account Settings
Log Out