5 No Cost Ways College Students Can Stay in Shape Over the Summer

College studentIn Minnesota, we make the most of the summer months. They fly by so fast that we have to make the most of them. Outdoor activities are a focus over the summer months. If you like to stay active and have been stuck in the gym during the winter months, heading outdoors is a great way to change up your workout routine and enjoy the weather. As a college student, you want to enjoy your summer, stay in shape and not spend money.

Luckily for us, the Twin Cities offer great no and low cost options for college students who are on a budget and want to stay in shape. We have put together some no cost fitness options and great locations available in the metro area for you to consider this summer.

1. Walk/Jog/Run

Get outside and pick your own speed and distance. Go with friends or get away from it all. Enjoy the city and see the sites or find a park or nature preserve. Minneapolis and St. Paul have downtown fun and plenty of green space.

Check out Minneapolis Running for trails, races, tips and more.

2. Bike

Need to get somewhere? Biking offers a great workout, transportation and recreation all at the same time and the Metro area has lots to offer bikers.

Minneapolis has been named a top city for biking by the U.S. Census Bureau, Bicycling Magazine and Bike Score. Minneapolis offers 92 miles of on-street and 85 miles of off-street bikeways and St. Paul boasts over 140 miles of bike friendly roads and trails to get out and enjoy.

Whether you are looking for a casual ride around a lake or a challenging workout, the Twin Cities has what you are looking for. Check out twin cities area bike maps here.

Don’t have a bike? Not a problem, Nice Ride is a non-profit bike sharing system available 24/7 from April to November. You can purchase an annual membership or passes for a low cost summer fitness investment.

3. Hike

Hit the trails for a short hike, or spend the day. Minnesota boasts prairies, oak savannahs and river bluffs. Enjoy the peace and relaxation that nature offers on some the best trails in the twin Cities.

4. Swim

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. The Twin Cities also offers the Minnesota, St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers. There is no shortage of water and beaches, and swimming is a great total-body workout. As the summer heat climbs, the beaches become more and more inviting. Also consider renting a canoe, kayak or paddleboard and trying your hand at a new sport.

5. PlayCollege student fitness

Play frisbee, soccer or baseball. Fly a kite or start a volleyball game. The Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area offers multiple local and regional parks to enjoy.

Now you can decide what you want to do and here are some great places in the metro area to hike, bike, walk, run, swim and play.

Twin Cities Trails

  • The Grand Rounds of Minneapolis
  • River Parkway in St. Paul and Minneapolis
  • Dakota Rail Trail
  • Gateway State Trail
  • The Midtown Greenway
  • Minnehaha Creek Parkway

Nature Areas in Minneapolis and St. Paul


The Metro area boasts 51 parks and park reserves with more than 300 miles of interconnected trails.

no cost fitnessLakes

  • Calhoun
  • Harriet
  • Lake of the Isles
  • Cedar Lake

More options to consider for fitness and recreation

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Northeast River District
Waterpower Park Como Zoo and Conservatory

Summer will be over too soon. Make a plan and see how many places you can visit and stay fit at the same time.