Move Your Body, Boost Your Mood: Free Summer Fitness Options Abound

Taking care of our physical health is a crucial part of living well and supporting our mental health, and movement and exercise are the foundation. With the warm weather finally upon us, we often feel a renewed motivation to get out and get moving after the long, more sedentary winter season. Whether you’re simply looking to incorporate more movement and exercise in your life, to get out and engage with others in a group class, or would like to try out a new type of exercise, there are several opportunities to participate in free fitness classes in our community.

Fitness in the Parks

Now in its 12th year, a partnership between the YMCA and Independent Health will bring “Fitness in the Parks” free community exercise classes to 26 local parks. These events are a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather in Western New York during the summertime. The classes run from June 1 to August 31. There are 16 different classes to choose from, including yoga, kickboxing bootcamp, zumba, cardio intervals, core & more, PiYo, walking club, beginners qigong, barre, strength training, and even kids yoga. Each host park has its own schedule and selection of class options. No registration is required to attend a class and most classes are open to all ages and abilities. To learn more about the participating parks, class times, and what’s being offered where, visit

Fitness at Canalside

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield will once again host their Fitness at Canalside series beginning the week after Memorial Day and running through Labor Day. Classes are free to attend and no registration is required. The schedule for this season includes:

Mondays – Kayak Tours and Puppy Yoga on select dates throughout the summer (to be announced)

Tuesdays – Zumba, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Wednesdays – Next Level Bootcamp, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Thursdays – Body of Wealth, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Fridays – Sow Fit, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and HEAL BFLO, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Saturdays – Shannon Connors Fitness and Urban Run Series, 9:00-10:00 a.m.

The series will also include a handful of Salsa Dancing classes on Saturdays, including June 29, July 13, July 20, July 27, and August 10. More information will be available on the Buffalo Waterfront’s website and social media channels.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield members who present their ID card can also take advantage of free Blue Bike rentals from 12:00-5:00 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Non-members can also rent bikes for $1 for the first hour and $5 for additional hours.

Fitness on the Lawn, Town of Tonawanda

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield will also host a “Fitness on the Lawn” series at the Town of Tonawanda Aquatic & Fitness Center, beginning June 1 and running through August 31. Classes are free to attend and do not require registration. The class schedule will include:

Mondays – Flow Yoga with Bloom & Bliss, 6:00 p.m.

Wednesdays – Core & Stretch, 6:00 p.m.

Thursdays – Zumba, 6:00 p.m.

Saturdays – All Levels Flow Yoga, 9:00 a.m.

Free Fitness for Kids

In addition to their outdoor fitness series for adults, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is also hosting a “Free Play Fridays” series of youth events in partnership with Explore and More, focused on fitness in play. The events kick off on Friday, June 28 at Canalside and will include explorations of soccer, golf, flag football, baseball, tennis, relay races, obstacle courses, and kickball. The classes take place from 11:00am to 1:00pm and are free to attend – no registration is required. For more information, visit

Free Fitness for Seniors

For seniors, getting regular exercise is a key part of maintaining independence and energy levels, improving balance, and improving overall quality of life. Attending group fitness classes is a great way to get moving and stay socially connected, too. Senior Services of Erie County’s “Club 99” initiative offers free fitness classes for senior citizens at several locations throughout Western New York. They also offer the option to attend classes virtually. The Senior Services website includes a list of participating locations and class dates and times. For more information, call (716) 858-8526 or email

These free fitness classes are a great way to get out and try something new, experience the beauty of our region during the summertime, visit a new park, meet new people, discover a new favorite form of exercise, and continue building a foundation of wellness.

The post Move Your Body, Boost Your Mood: Free Summer Fitness Options Abound appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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