You don't have to sign up for an expensive gym membership to get fit. Make the most of what Melbourne has to offer from social running clubs, city-run health centres and public exercise areas.
We've picked out just some of the best way to get fit around the city for free or for a small fee. For more ways to stay active in the city, check out five great walks around Melbourne and the best day hikes out of the city.
Cheap health and fitness in Melbourne
Ever wished that you were as limber as a ballerina? Head backstage to the Australian Ballet Studios, where the dance company is running public yoga, pilates, ballet and Broadway dance classes. If you’re a complete novice, there are ballet classes complete with a live pianist for beginners that will take you through the basics.
If you like running, it’s one of the best ways to explore the city if you like getting pumped with other runners, join a local running club. Many are free or charge an annual fee, and are open to runners of all abilities. A couple of our favourites are the Crosbie Crew, which hits the Tan weekly for an annual membership fee of $60, and the Gunn Runners bunch who pound the Albert Park Lake track every Tuesday. No membership is required to run with the Gunn crew, but bring $5 for a post-run bevvy at the pub.
No wonder the Carlton footy club calls Princes Park home; the sprawling park just north of the CBD is a haven for those who love working out outdoors. There’s a 3.2k running track around the park with an adjoining cycle way, and outdoor gyms if you want to pump out a few sets on the bars. Bring a ball for an impromptu footy game, and eyeball the players when it’s training season.
Melbourne City Baths opened in 1860 and since then it has provided health and fitness services to Melburnians. It's much more than a pool these days, though the 30-metre pool is the largest in the CBD, there's also a fully equipped gym, fitness studio and squash courts.