How can I get involved in a fun, cheap, social activity that keeps me strong?
March 9, 2010 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Help me get physical! Going to the gym alone isn't cutting it. How can I get involved in a fun, cheap, social activity that keeps me strong?

I'm new to the Baton Rouge metro area, and I'm looking for a social activity that will keep me strong and fit.

I'd like to get engaged in an activity that involves other people, but doesn't cost much to get into.

I thought Brazilian Jiu Jit Siu would be a lot of fun, but at $60-100 / month, classes are pricier than expected.
Outing clubs are fun in other, less-flat states.
Geo-caching and yoga seem boring to me.

What other things would I enjoy doing and easily find a group to do them with?
posted by jander03 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (28 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: rock climbing.
posted by carmel at 1:10 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Judo is generally cheaper and vaguely similar to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ has more groundwork, Judo has more standing throwing). It looks like LSU has a judo club.
posted by Comrade_robot at 1:10 PM on March 9, 2010

Pickup basketball
posted by jckll at 1:12 PM on March 9, 2010

Dance classes (salsa, etc) is available in Baton Rouge with a pretty good group, if you are interested let me know I can put me in touch with some people there.
posted by quodlibet at 1:14 PM on March 9, 2010

Ultimate frisbee. Nearly no equipment needed, and you can find groups of all skill levels in nearly every city.
posted by chrisamiller at 1:15 PM on March 9, 2010

Best answer: Beekeeping will kick your butt. The lifting, carrying, transferring frames, all of that will get you into a sweat and strength training as well! It can be cheap if you volunteer at a community hive, plus, free honey at the end of the season!
posted by timpanogos at 1:16 PM on March 9, 2010

My city has rec dodgeball, volleyball, and basketball leagues for adults. County rec departments usually have very affordable programs.
posted by maxg94 at 1:20 PM on March 9, 2010

Best answer: Rugby. Spring season is starting now.
posted by electroboy at 1:22 PM on March 9, 2010

Best answer: Why not join meetup and start planning drifts?

My friends occasionally plan a "drift" (i.e., a hiking/exploring expedition) of the city that covers approximately 3 square miles. The idea is to end up at a restaurant or home and eat and discuss what you discovered along the way.

Benefits: New friends, physical activity, learning more about the city to which you just moved. Plus, it's free.

Cons: Must be done with others, weather can wreak havoc on planned outings, not knowing the area = you could end up somewhere not pedestrian or exploration-friendly.

However, it sounds like something you could work into your life with little to no training and has tertiary benefits.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:22 PM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Volunteer to plant trees.
posted by MsMolly at 1:29 PM on March 9, 2010

2nding Rugby. Only played for a season but even during that short period of time, I quickly got into the best shape of my adult life and traditionally the social aspect of rugby clubs are just barely secondary.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:32 PM on March 9, 2010

Seconding ultimate frisbee. It's active like soccer, requires somewhere from nothing to a small investment, is usually co-ed, and unless you're playing in a top tournament, is usually more about being friendly and sharing a beer than competition. There are pick-up groups everywhere.
posted by domnit at 1:37 PM on March 9, 2010

Best answer: I saw your question and was immediately going to post "rock climbing" and see that I got beat to it. Most larger cities have rock gyms that can get you hooked in to the local scene and get you outside on rock. It's inexpensive and is inherently very social. Once you've taken a class, it's pretty easy to walk up to someone and ask 'em for a belay after explaining you're new to the sport.
posted by misterpatrick at 1:38 PM on March 9, 2010

Best answer: Sorry for ultimate spamming--this is all. You may also find a summer league nearby. These are usually casual, with a mix of experienced and new players.
posted by domnit at 1:41 PM on March 9, 2010

Adult rugby and soccer clubs are both great socially and physically, and generally cost minimal amounts to get involved with (don't skimp on the shoes). They vary between very competitive and very not competitive (with the associated increase in drinking), so shop around for a club that matches your skill and commitment desires.
posted by kjs3 at 1:42 PM on March 9, 2010

Best answer: What are your feelings on beer with your exercise? It looks like there's at least two Hash House Harrier packs in and around Baton Rouge. Here's one with a functioning site, and here's one with a broken site. Plenty of socializing, a few miles of running, and beer. It's cheap too. Here at my home hash it's just five bucks per run to cover the beer.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 1:46 PM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

I also vote rock climbing; it's great for upper body and core strength.
posted by axismundi at 1:59 PM on March 9, 2010

running clubs in your town?
posted by archivist at 2:05 PM on March 9, 2010

I'd also vote for rock climbing. You'll likely see fast increases in upper body strength and it's a lot of fun. Indoor climbing walls will generally be rated with a number showing their difficulty, and you and friends can have fun climbing progressively harder walls.
posted by Diplodocus at 3:10 PM on March 9, 2010

Best answer: You could also see what Capoeira costs. It's fun and physically challenging, but may cost as much as your BJJ class. Maybe not, though.
posted by ctmf at 4:34 PM on March 9, 2010

While rock climbing on an actual rock might be inexpensive (once you have the gear, of course,) the rock climbing gym in my town was STUPID expensive when I looked into it a few years back. No competition, though, so that might have had something to do with that.
posted by ctmf at 4:36 PM on March 9, 2010

posted by jeffamaphone at 4:52 PM on March 9, 2010

No one's suggested dancing lessons? Ballroom dancing is an Olympic sport, people! Yoga? Kickboxing? Boxing? Aikido is usually relatively expensive, I think. What about handball or racquetball at your YMCA?

Also, Judo and BJJ are not comparable. Not a value judgement, just pretty different.
posted by cmoj at 7:36 PM on March 9, 2010

Seconding ctmf that rock climbing, while great, can be expensive. Climbing gym fees run from $10 to $20 a day (including gear you need to rent). Buying gear to climb outside requires an initial investment of, say, $150 for the basics: shoes, harness, helmet, belay device, carabiner...and you still need friends who have the rest of the gear: rope, slings, carabiners, possibly quickdraws and pro.

that is a long way of saying that if you think $60-$100/mo for BJJ is expensive, climbing isn't going to be any cheaper. The exception to this is if you happen to be a student and your campus has a climbing wall (many do these days).
posted by fieldtrip at 9:47 PM on March 9, 2010

Best answer: I've played pickup Ultimate Frisbee while on travel in at least 5 states and three countries. Always the nicest folks in my experience, and almost all pickup games end up with dinner or drinks by some subset of the players. There are pickup games for all levels, and it's generally easier to find more laid-back games. Still plenty of running, but just not hyper-competitive.

I usually start finding pickup games on the UPA site. That site doesn't seem to list anything for Baton Rouge, but no fear--of course there are plenty of games that don't make it to those pages. There are two each of club, college, and youth teams listed so it's quite probable there's a pickup game somewhere. And, of course there are games in Layfayette so you could just head there for the Sunday game, perhaps.

Your city hosts a pretty good yearly tournament with a good party too.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 1:36 AM on March 10, 2010

I'm going to venture a guess that there's no outdoor rock climbing anywhere near Louisiana, being as the state's highest point, Driscoll Mountain, is a whopping 500 feet about sea level.
posted by electroboy at 6:32 AM on March 10, 2010

Also, Judo and BJJ are not comparable. Not a value judgement, just pretty different.
posted by cmoj at 10:36 PM on March 9 [+] [!]

Not to derail this, but I train both, and ... they're both grappling sports played in a gi. Broadly, it's the same game played with slightly different rules, which modifies what tends to happen.
posted by Comrade_robot at 6:51 AM on March 10, 2010

Response by poster: Awesome suggestions all around! Some I never would have come up with on my own (bee-keeping, Hash House Harrier, and farm work).

I especially appreciate those of you who were able to toss some links out!
posted by jander03 at 8:14 AM on March 11, 2010

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