Breaking a Sweat without Breaking the Bank

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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!


This month, in schools across America, from pre-K all the way up to 12th grade, kids will take a moment to reflect on the concept of thankfulness. Prompted by projects designed by their teachers (#weLOVEteachers), they will answer the question: What are you thankful for? Whether they draw it or write it, act it or emote it, in some way, they will reveal what is most important to them. And while some of the answers may make you laugh and others may make you cry, they will all make you stop, think, and reflect.

Unfortunately, as adults we don’t have a teacher giving us assignments. You are, in many ways, on your own. There is no one checking your homework or prompting you to think about the positive things in your life. How you live your life and if or when you reflect upon your life is up to you. Sometimes, this practice can be isolating. It can make you lose direction, and it can make you forget to appreciate all the good that surrounds you. You can, albeit unconsciously, miss those homework assignments that forced you to stop and reflect. And although we can’t tap our foot, shake our finger, or prepare our red marker for corrections, we are going to take a moment and play the role of teacher. So grab a piece of paper, pull out a pen, and start working on your Truly, MD, homework.

Your assignment is the following: “What are you thankful for?” We will go first….


“It’s hard to pinpoint the one or two things that I am most thankful for—a good problem, I know! And unlike that never-ending to-do list, there is nothing on my long “thankful” list that I want to cross off—I have been blessed with friends, family, health, and opportunities. I am a lucky girl. But this year, what I am most thankful for is evolution. I have been able to witness my parents evolve into grandparents, my little babies evolve into toddlers and children, my friends evolve into surrogate sisters, and our words evolve into a website. And as these areas have evolved, I, too, have evolved: as a daughter, wife, mother, doctor and now advocate. I will be eternally thankful for the opportunity to not only watch these developments but also to live these developments. What an amazing journey it has been.”


“I am thankful for my environment. And while I do love myself a fall Central Park day, I am not referring to my physical surroundings. I am alluding to the passion, the conviction, and the endurance of the individuals around me both at work, at home, and at play. Be it to themselves, to others, or to the collective good, those around me are committed. And their commitment has provided me with endless opportunities. I am forever thankful for these opportunities and the chance to make a difference. I promise to use my voice to shape the environments of others.


We are thankful that you have allowed us “two girls in the know” to join your journey. Whether it be as you are flying solo or as you are mommying, being there alongside you has been nothing less than incredible. We THANK you for inviting us to share some of life’s most special and intimate moments with you. We are humbled by your honesty and your hospitality. We hope that our relationship continues to evolve and you continue to invite us back to your “table” for years and years to come.

In the words of one of our role models (you know who you are!), we are lucky not only to be alive but also to have the chance to live. Take a minute, and reflect upon what makes you live and what you live for. And while no one is checking your work (this one is straight-up honor code), here, there are no failures. Be thankful, be thoughtful, and be true. That’s worth way more than an A+ in our book.