Let’s face it. Exercise and popular workout classes are not free. In fact, they are not even cheap! Clipping into the saddle or popping onto a Pilates machine can cost you a cool 40 bucks (depending on where you live and what studio you like to frequent). Times this by 5 or 7, and you are not talking chump change. Furthermore, if you have kids, breaking free to break a sweat requires a babysitter. Add an additional 30 to 40 dollars for that, and you have gotten yourself an expensive afternoon. All of this makes exercising not only unappealing but also nearly impossible. But despite these roadblocks, the benefits of exercise are big, so it’s important to find ways to bypass them, no matter how impassable they may seem.
Here’s some of our five favorite free ways to break a sweat:
- Use your feet. We use our feet to get us everywhere. Whether it be walking to and from work or running to and from errands, we try to get there on foot. We never leave home without a pair of sneakers! This practice not only saves money and time (best way to beat the traffic), but it also gives you some fresh air (Vitamin D) and some alone time. It’s a great way to let your head go and get recentered…all while burning some calories!
- Start climbing. No, we’re not referring to your nearest hike, although that would be a great form of free exercise! The climbing we are talking about is the one that gets you from the bottom floor of your office building to your desk (plus maybe a few extra levels to really drive your heart rate up). By ditching the elevator, you can get your blood moving, your heart pumping, and break a good sweat. And although we too will miss those good elevator tunes, a few hikes up and down will do a lot for your bottom line and your overall health.
- Do some research. It may surprise you to know how many low-cost exercise options are out there. While everything may seem pricey at first glance, with some research you might find some good choices that don’t cost too much. Don’t take what you see at face value. Ask about packages and deals. Often, fitness centers will sell packages if you buy in bulk. Last, consider taking your workout woes to your human resources department. Gyms and studios are often eager to make deals with companies (the more members, the better). This is a great way not only to save money but also to engage your colleagues.
- Make a date out of it. Couples who sweat together stay together! Going out for a run or taking a class not only allows you to break a sweat but also spend some quality time together. Think about substituting the movies or dinner for a sweat session. The costs will be fairly comparable, including the babysitting fees, and you will get some good cardio out of it. And honestly, what’s better than a date where you don’t have to wash your hair, worry about what you wear, or put make-up on?
- Do it as a family. There is nothing better for your kids than to learn healthy eating and exercise habits at a young age. Like mother, like daughter; like father, like son. Go outdoors and run around. Play tag. Take a hike. Go for a swim. Walk in the park. Whatever you can do to get moving, make it happen. Turn off the TV, the iPad, the iPhone, and anything else that needs to be charged. Family activities centered on fitness will recharge your family’s battery. Togetherness is way more powerful than any electrical device!