BeFitNYC

Find cheap and free ways to get your ass in gear in the city's parks and rec centers.

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There are plenty of places in New York City to exercise for next to nothing—or even for free. To encourage New Yorkers to take advantage of the resources throughout the five boroughs, the Department of Parks and Recreation sponsored search engine BeFitNYC, which culls information about cheap and gratis fitness events around town. We're previewing three of the no-cost initiatives to give you an idea of what to expect.

RECOMMENDED: Fitness guide to NYC

The Largest NYC Zumba Party Ever!
Join a slew of other New Yorkers at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home to the Staten Island Yankees, and get sweaty through this combination of Latin dance moves and fierce aerobic activity. In addition to games and giveaways, a free Zumba lesson (1pm) will raise your heart rate before the party starts at 1:30pm, and a yoga cooldown (2:30pm) will leave you feeling loose and limber. Richmond County Bank Ballpark, 75 Richmond Terrace between Wall St and Hamilton Ave, Staten Island (befitnyc.org) Sept 25, 12:30--4pm; free.

Walk NYC
Trained walking instructors will lead groups on an hour-long jaunt through green spaces in all five boroughs, including Manhattan's Riverside Park, Prospect and Sunset Parks in Brooklyn, and Astoria Park in Queens. All ages and fitness levels are welcome to participate. Locations, dates and times vary; see befitnyc.org for more info. Through December 2011; free.

BeFitNYC Free First Mondays
Unbeknownst to many locals, city recreation centers provide free fitness programs and activities on the first Monday of every month. You can take an aerobics class, go for a swim, pump some iron or challenge a buddy to a game of one-on-one on the basketball court. Be sure to bring a photo I.D. and a towel if you're working out. Various recreation centers throughout NYC; see befitnyc.org for info. Next event Oct 3; free entrance, fee for some classes.

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