How to Stay Active in a Big City

Okay, so it’s a bit funny/ironic that I’m writing this post because I don’t think anyone would consider me the most active person (it’s something I’m working on haha!), but upping my fitness is definitely something I’ve tried to prioritize these past few months.

Since moving to Chicago, I must admit that the food scene has gotten to me a bit – but that’s why it’s important to figure out how to stay active in a big city in order to combat all of those foodie tendencies!

First up, WALK!

This is certainly my most important tip. Typically those in big cities don’t have their cars to rely on and must turn to Uber (myself included), but not only does it put a hole in your pocket, but it also takes away the opportunity to shed some calories for the day. During the warmer months, I try to avoid transportation and walk home after work and I’ve noticed that it makes a big difference. If that’s not in the cards for you, try heading out for a walk once you get home or on the weekends. I think that if you tell yourself throughout the day that you’re going to walk, it gives you something to look forward to and you’re more likely to actually accomplish that goal.

(Affordable) Exercise Classes

This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I just cannot fathom how people pay $150+ for class memberships such as Orange Theory, Pure Barre and whatever else. I think it’s a huge waste of money! While they’re definitely fun, there’s other alternatives that are more affordable. For instance, I joined Planet Fitness in the beginning of the year – which although is not the best gym – only cost me $10 per month and they had a variety of strength training classes throughout the week that focused on your core, abs, shoulders and more. I’ve since joined LA Fitness (I was a member in Cleveland) and it costs around $40 per month, which is still extremely reasonable compared to some of the other gyms around the City. Most gyms in that range will offer yoga, zumba, cycling and more. If you’re worried that staying active requires you to spend big bucks – it doesn’t.

Keep it at Home

Now this is definitely one of my favorite “hacks.” I recently purchased a 50-inch television, and it’s perfect for displaying workout videos, yoga videos and whatever else your heart desires! Honestly, YouTube is so underrated for this. I purchased a yoga mat a few weeks back and have been doing a 30-day yoga challenge – all cast from my television for free! I’ve also done more intense workouts which left me even more sweaty and out of breath than in an actual gym haha!

So, there you have it – my tips on how to stay active in a big city. There’s so many different things you can do to remain active – like downloading apps – but these are some of my favorite go-to’s!

How do you stay active?

Photos by Jill Green

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  1. 6.7.18
    Jessica said:

    Great tips dear. Walk and walk a lot more! That’s what I’ve learned living in NY. You’ll be surprised how lovely your city actually it when you take time walking around and exploring the streets on foot.

    Jessica |

    • 6.7.18
      debug said:

      That is seriously so true, Jess! Walking around Chicago has shown me so many different things and places that I didn’t even know existed… it’s so fun to explore your own neighborhood! Thanks for stopping by, friend! 🙂

  2. 6.4.18
    Kate BK said:

    I find I have a LOT more trouble staying active now that I live in a less walkable city. When I lived in D.C., it was fairly easy for me to stay in at-least-not-terrible shape. I’ve gained 20 lbs. since I moved to Cleveland!

    • 6.5.18
      debug said:

      Yes, D.C. is such a great town for walking and you see more people doing it, too! And oh no!! I’m actually from Cleveland, so I totally understand – mostly everyone drives everywhere because things are so far! Hoping you find something that works for you 🙂

  3. 6.4.18
    Amy Arnold said:

    Good ideas! I personally love to walk in our area because it is just the most doable for me right now. Glad you are finding things that work for you.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • 6.5.18
      debug said:

      Completely agree with you… sometimes walking is the easiest and most effective way to just do something! Thanks for stopping by, Amy!

  4. 6.4.18
    Dorota said:

    I live in a big city too and I really find it hard to keep up with my fitness (hence I’m not the thiniest flower on a bush, haha). But what I learned is that walking is indeed a solution. I usually take a bus to work (cause walking there would take me 2 hours) but walking to the bus stop, from bus stop to the underground, from underground to the building also add some steps. I actually received a gift of a step-measuring bracelet and it keeps me in check. 10000 steps a day always keeps me in a great mood. Great post btw!

    • 6.5.18
      debug said:

      I’m right there with ya, Dorota! And even walking shorter distances all ads up to something greater, and hitting that goal of 10,000 steps always makes me feel amazing too! Keep up the good work!

Hi, I'm Lauren!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm a 20-something living in Cleveland, Ohio - sharing my love for all the things! If you love fashion, travel, reading, and local finds - then you're in the right place!