Get Fit – For Free!

A man watching tv while doing crunches on a blue fitness ball( — Surprise – exercise is important! Keeps you fitter…keeps you healthier. But with the times being what they are, if the extra expense of paying for classes or a gym is just not in your budget, there are still a few ways to stay fit…while keeping your dollars (at least most of them) in your wallet.

• Lace Up Your Shoes and Go. One of the easiest ways to stay fit for free is to hit the park. Yes, it’ll cost you a good pair of shoes (and/or at least a used bike), but running, walking, hiking, biking, doesn’t matter. Have you ever visited a running or hiking trail before? How about your local forest preserve? Just get out there – anything that keeps your heart rate up will work. Some parks even offer free workout stations.

• Borrow Fitness DVDs. Visit the local library. Public libraries keep a wide variety of fitness DVDs, which are perfect for borrowing. If possible, try choosing a fitness DVD that incorporates both cardio and strength into a single workout and alternating that with a yoga DVD. If you don’t want to borrow DVDs, sites like Exercise TV and Hulu stream free fitness videos.

• Weight-Less. If you don’t have weights, you can use regular household items in place of weights, such as laundry detergent bottles and soup cans. Some workout moves let you use bathroom towels! There are also a ton of strength training moves like squats and lunges that don’t require the use of any equipment. Lastly, consider that certain strength training items, such as small weights and resistance bands, can cost under $10.

• Visit The Gym For Free. Many gyms and yoga studios offer free passes as a way to lure potential new members. Call around, or look online, to see if any fitness centers in the area give out promotional guest passes, or if any cheap deals are available. Yes, you may have to tour the gym while listening to a sales pitch to get this freebie, but you’re usually free to work out on your own afterwards. Also keep your eye out for yoga studios that offer free community classes or sports stores that help organize free group runs.

There are no excuses – the key to healthy is being more active, so get out there and get going!