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5
Urban Alternatives to the Gym

Parkour anyone?

Carl Schneider/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Shorts? Check. Tank top? You betcha. Shoes? Laced and ready to go. But then you stand up and look out the window of your downtown apartment and wonder: Where can I go to get a little exercise? There aren't any good trails nearby for jogging or biking -- just a jungle of cars, roads and buildings as far as the eye can see.

The obvious solution is to head to a gym, and there are a lot of urbanites who do just that. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, there are nearly 30,000 health clubs in the United States, accommodating some 58 million patrons [source: IHRSA]. Many of those are located in big cities, like Minneapolis, Minn., which has the most gyms and fitness clubs per capita with 73.8 for every million people [source: Huffington Post].

But if running on treadmills, pumping iron and admiring your chiseled abs in front of a mirror isn't your thing, you'll be glad to know that there are other options. Downtown dwellers have come up with all kinds of ways to get a workout without setting foot in a gym, from traditional sports like basketball and hockey to newer activities like parkour and hashing. So lose the free weights, ditch the elliptical and check out our list of urban alternatives to the gym!

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