Don’t have a gym membership, but the dining halls are weighing you down? You don’t need Noyes or Helen Newman when you have all of Ithaca to explore. There are endless fun and affordable ways to exercise near and on campus. Here’s why Ithaca is the best place to get fit, and ideas to get you on the move.

1Do it for the food.

The best part about getting fit? Food–and tons of it. We all know that tour guide tidbit that “Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than even New York City.” Just think how much better all that food would taste after a run! Use Ithaca’s own Farmer’s Market as an incentive; it’s about two and a half miles from North Campus, and two from West and Collegetown. The best part? It’s all downhill! When you’re finished at the Farmer’s Market– hydrating with local lemonade, refueling with crepes and breakfast burritos- enjoy an easy jog or stroll along the brand-new Waterfront Trail for just over five miles of gorgeous lake views. Bonus points if you follow the trail all the way out to the Cayuga Inlet Lighthouse.


2Do it for the Insta.

“Ithaca is Gorges,” after all. There are hundreds of trails around the Cornell Plantations, Treman State Park, and Fall Creek Gorge that are great for boosting your image, both in the mirror and on social media. Show your athletic side by taking on Cornell’s Trail Running Class (PE 1608) or by organizing a gorge-trail tour with your friends! For some major inspiration, and pretty much any other running info you could ever need, check out Ithaca’s MapMyRun. Adventure’s out there–now there’s no excuse not to go out and find it.


3Do it for the Community

Fit University is the newest name in healthy living at Cornell, and your official go-to guide for all things college fitness. On the national website, you can find anything from clean eating dining hall hacks to advice on staying stress-free during exam season. Debuting on campus this year is also a weekly workout (every Friday at 4:30 p.m., at various on-campus locations), open to all fitness levels–and it’s completely free. Check out Fit U’s Cornell Chapter on Instagram or Facebook.


4Do it in Your Dorm Room

After a full day of classes then a night at the library, it’s hard to get up in the morning for your usual exercise routine. Check out any of the easy, no-equipment-needed workouts on the web for a quick fitness fix. My personal favorite workouts can be found at Cosmopolitan and on


5Just Do it.

You saw this one coming. But it’s true: only you can get yourself moving, and your body will thank you. Whether it’s running, yoga, or crossfit, working out has been proven to boost your stamina, your alertness, and your focus–just think of that next time you’re walking uphill to your 9 a.m. class. From eating more to sleeping and studying better, it’s simple: getting fit and staying fit will make you feel good. So why are you still sitting here?