Affordable Fitness

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lack of social support and boredom are common barriers to living an active lifestyle. The good news is fitness doesn’t have to be expensive, boring, or lonely. Corvallis clubs and community classes offer a range of social workouts – from yoga and barre classes to running, biking, and even roller derby. Here’s a rundown of ten opportunities to exercise for $10 or less per session.

1. Sick Town Derby Dames
The Sick Town Derby Dames, our area’s rough and tough and downright riveting derby team, runs boot camps throughout the year at the Lake Park Roller Rink. The camps usually follow one of their matches, or “bouts.”  These six-week non-contact boot camps cover all the basics of roller derby, including basic skating technique, safety skills, and transitions. According to member Blade Maiden, the boot camp suits all levels of skaters from “wall huggers” to super skaters. 

“We literally start off by teaching you how to fall,” Maiden explains, continuing, “Easy is earned. You have to work at it, and the skills will improve. We love having skaters of all levels, but we especially like to encourage those who haven’t skated much at all.”

If interested, contact the Dames to inquire over future sessions, as Maiden says they run two or three boot camps each year depending on interest from prospective skaters. 

• Cost: $50 per six-week boot camp, meets twice per week, working out to $4.16 per session

• Location: Lake Park Roller Rink, 6400 NW Highway 99W, just north of Corvallis

• For Details: 

2. Mid Valley Bicycle Club
If you prefer cycling over skating then the Mid Valley Bicycle Club (MVBC) may be your new jam. They host several weekly rides touring the Corvallis and nearby Willamette Valley locations. While this is a membership-based club, any guest who signs a waiver is welcome to join their rides. 

MVBC promotes cycling as a safe and social recreational activity. “For newcomers, the most important tip is to follow the rules of the road and to be a good representative of the safe biking community, and if uncertain, to ask [questions],” says board member Lindsay Parker.

• Cost: Annual membership dues are $10 per student, $20 individual, $30 family

• Time: Saturdays at 9 and 10 a.m., and Wednesdays at 9 a.m.

• Location: All rides start at Osborn Aquatic Center

• For Details:

3. Heart of the Valley Runners
Running doesn’t have to be a solo sport. The Heart of the Valley Runners (HOTV) hold several running workouts each week. During these running sessions, participants run Corvallis trails and tracks. The HOTV runners also host running events and run in races throughout the area. These workouts are open to guests as well as members.

“Come ready to be active and make friends!” says Matt Soicher, incoming president of the Heart of the Valley Runners. “Having the encouragement and support of others in the group makes it a lot easier to get out that door and get moving, especially on the days when you might not feel like it.”

Newcomers may enjoy their Thursday Evening Social Run, where participants often meet for some food and drink after a three to six mile run. According to Soicher, all abilities are welcome and nobody runs alone. The Thursday evening run meets at 6 p.m. at Five Star Sports (2nd & Madison). 

• Cost: Annual membership dues are $10 per student, $20 individual, $30 family

• Time: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays

• Location: Visit their website for meeting locations and times for each workout.

• For Details:

4. Corvallis Hash House Harriers
If you prefer to mix your running with cheeky merriment and adult beverages, then you may want to try hashing. The Corvallis Hash House Harriers describe themselves as a “drinking club with a running problem.” The hashers are always looking for “virgins” or newcomers to join their adventures. 

The Hash House Harriers is an international phenomenon. Local groups are known as “kennels.”  On a typical hash, one or more members known as “hares” run ahead of the kennel to mark the course using chalk or flour. The rest of the group, known as “hounds,” follow the marks in search of beer, stopping at various “checks” along the way, requiring certain actions to be taken before hounds may proceed. The runs are usually anywhere from three to six miles, and walkers are always welcome.

“We run everywhere; in town from bar to bar, or out of town in the wilderness,” according to a member of the Corvallis Hash House Harriers mismanagement team known as “6 of 9.”

• Cost: $5 – $7

• Time & Location: Usually the third Saturday of each month, check their website for details

• For Details: 

5. Community Yoga at Live Well Studio
Live Well Studio offers three weekly community yoga classes including an all level community class and two chair yoga classes. Chair yoga is a form of yoga that can be done while sitting in a chair or standing using the chair for support. This gentle practice offers the benefits of yoga to people who can’t easily descend to the floor or stand for long periods of time.

“Yoga is for everyone, and we try to have classes for all levels of mobility,” says Jocelyn Darshana, Assistant Studio Manager Live Well.

The multi-level community yoga class is usually taught by their instructors in training. 

• Cost: suggested donation of $7 or pay what you can.

• Times: Chair Yoga: Tuesdays & Thursdays at 3 p.m.; Multi-level: Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. 

• Location: Live Well Studio, 971 NW Spruce Ave, Ste 101

• For Details:

6. Barre3 Corvallis
Barre3 workouts involve a fusion of ballet barre, Pilates, and yoga, according to Studio Owner Robin Jones. The studio provides all the equipment, and participants should come ready to connect with their bodies.

“For too long fitness has been sold on external measures of success – sculpt the perfect body, get the scale to a certain number,” says Jones. “We’ve redefined success in fitness as feeling empowered from within and balanced in [the] body.”

• Cost: $5

• Time: Sundays at 3 p.m.

• Location: 118 NW Jackson Ave.

• For Details:

7. Yoga At Studio Cloud 9
Pilates Studio Cloud 9 offers weekly community yoga flow classes for all levels of yoga experience. This multi-level class incorporates flowing sequences that coordinate with the student’s breath.

“Our class sizes are small so instructors can focus on each individual’s form and goals. Doing exercises incorrectly without modifications can cause injury and pain,” says studio owner Jean Chen Smith.

• Cost: $5, cash only

• Time: Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

• Location: Studio Cloud 9, 165 SW Washington Ave.

• For Details:

8. Yoga In The Gallery
The Corvallis Arts Center hosts Yoga in the Gallery instructed by Marcy Elliott, MA who voluntarily teaches these classes to fundraise for the Arts Center education programs. Elliot describes these hour-long classes as gentle yoga practices inspired by the art in the gallery.

“I was inspired while volunteering for the Art Shop and felt that the main gallery with the wood floors, tall ceilings and windows surrounded by art to be a peaceful, joyful and inspirational place to share the practice. The energy feels really good,” says Elliott.

• Cost: $5 suggested donation

• Time: Mondays at 7 p.m. and Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.

• Location: The Arts Center, 700 SW Madison Ave

• For Details:

9. Willamette Valley Power Yoga
If you like your yoga heated then you may enjoy this Baron Baptiste style power flow class. Willamette Valley Power Yoga (WVPY) offers a community class led by their teachers in training. Co-founder Melinda Luksch is a Certified Baptiste Educator who suggests that new students book online and arrive at least 5 minutes early. She also recommends that students bring a yoga mat, water bottle, and wear moisture-wicking clothing.

“There is no such thing as being good at yoga,” says Luksch. “Just get on your mat, that’s the hardest part!”

• Cost: $5

• Time: Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

• Location: 305 SW C Avenue, Suite 4

• For Details:

10. Community Yoga with Ecstatic Dance Corvallis
Ecstatic Dance Corvallis also offers community yoga taught by certified yoga teachers in addition to their weekly dance session. Both activities attract “people of all ages who love to move their bodies,” according to Peter Weinstein, Event Producer and Founder of Ecstatic Dance Corvallis.

“My tip for newcomers is to try their best to arrive on time to get settled in. Bring a yoga mat if you have one and water. Be prepared to share with the instructor if there are any injuries they should be aware of,” said Weinstein.

Community yoga sponsored by Ecstatic Dance Corvallis happens every Sunday and doubles as a warm-up for their weekly ecstatic dance sessions.

• Cost: $5 for yoga only

• Time: Sundays at 9:30 a.m. 

• Location: Odd Fellows Hall, 223 SW 2nd St.

• For Details:


By Samantha Sied