Last week we learned all about bodyweight exercises and workouts for people with no equipment and today we're learning 7 workouts for people with no money. Yep, that's free sweat! So here are several tips on how to exercise for free with several at home workouts.
Exercise For Free
My husband and son doing bicycles in the park wearing, yes, bicycle helmets. Guess whose idea that was? Not the short one's...
Between pitching bales of hay, walking for miles behind pasturing cattle and sprinting to the neighbor's house to get the doctor when the twins you're babysitting get croup in the middle of a storm (me, Anne of Green Gables fan? Maybe a little...), in the old days you didn't have to do much to get your daily quotient of exercise. And you certainly didn't have to pay for it.
These days however we pay people money to let us walk in place on an endlessly spinning belt, in front of a TV if we're really lucky. Yeah, I'm pretty sure my great-grandfather just rolled over in his grave but short of a zombie apocalypse that's neither here nor there. Today we pay money - sometimes a lot of money if you hire a personal trainer or take a specialty class - to get a good sweat on. But there are tricks to getting a great workout for cheap - or even better, for free.
1. Free trials.
Most gyms and studios offer a free trial period ranging from one free day to a whole free month depending on their current promotion. Usually you have to listen to their sales spiel but then you get to try out their classes and facilities. This works best for people who like to try lots of different things but get a friend to sign up with you and you'll have way better stories to tell than if you just did dinner and movie per your usual.
Many professional trainers and instructors put whole workouts online for free. Yes, they are usually trying to entice you to buy their stuff but everyone from kettlebell queen Lauren Brooks to P90X guru Tony Horton to Pop Pilates has full-length professional workouts you can do at home, for free.
Another trick is to take some of the sample workouts (tip: just keep following the recommended video links that YouTube will give you at the end of each video) and just do one after the other until you get a good 30 minutes in.
This one isn't technically free as you have to pay to sign up but chances are you already have a subscription and did you know they offer a wide selection of workouts available for instant streaming? Even better, they change them fairly frequently so as soon as you get bored there will be something else to try out.
4. Exercise websites.
Many places put their entire program out there for free. If you're just starting out with exercise I recommend the Monkey Bar Gym. More hardcore? CrossFit will have you buffed out faster than any program I know. And Zuzana from bodyrock.tv will have you abtastic before breakfast.
5. The great outdoors.
I'm sure you already know that walking, biking or jogging outside is free but liven up your workout by trying out something new scenery. If you can afford a few bucks, you can buy a national parks pass and get an education along with your workout. If you want to stay totally free google the name of your city and "walking tours" - most metropolitan areas offer a variety both guided and choose-your-own-adventure,like these for my hometown.
If you love racing, many races will give you free or discounted entry if you volunteer to work at one of their other races. The work's easy - you usually hand out t-shirts or drinks or stand at the bag check - and you still get the thrill of being involved in the race.
7. The library.
With all the cool stuff on the Internet, don't forget to check out all the free offerings of fitness books, magazines and DVDs at your local library. While you're there check out the community board for listings for free runner's groups or boot camps in the park or even flash mobs!
Now if only there were a place offering free motivation... Do you have a favorite free workout tip? Check in next Wednesday for my last post in this series - Exercise for People With No Childcare (how to exercise with your kids without anyone losing an eye)!
More Fitness Tips:
- At Home Workouts For People With No Time
- Five Simple Steps To Tone Your Thighs
- How To Eat Well and Feel Full Every Time
- How To Work In a Good Workout With A Busy Life
- Bodyweight Exercises: Workouts For People With No Equipment
Charlotte Hilton Andersen is a mom of 5, the author of The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the site The Great Fitness Experiment. She also writes for Redbook, Shape, Mens Fitness, iVillage, BlogHer, and the Huffington Post among other places.