With the costs of gym fees, fitness classes, and club memberships, exercising can get expensive. Purchasing new equipment, shoes, and clothes for the type of exercise can add up too! During the school year, our gym membership is built into our tuition, and I take fitness classes on campus for 1-credit so they are built into my schedule. Now that rock climbing, Zumba, and Dance Team are over for the year, I need to find other ways to exercise! Luckily the campus gym membership is super inexpensive during the summer, but there are plenty of ways to exercise for free (or really cheap!)
1. Run, jog, or walk outside
Try running on sidewalks, on trails, or at a park. Walking your dog counts too!
2. Lift weights - or "weights" - at home
Sports stores, Target, Wal-Mart, and many other places sell free weights that are usually inexpensive. Invest in one or two different sets of weight and use them to do what you'd normally do at the gym at home. Or, find other "weights" around the house, like soup cans or heavy books! Also, other small equipment like a jump rope or a resistance band don't take up much room and are very portable.
3. Use your own body weight for strength exercises
Basic calisthenics like crunches, push-ups, tricep dips, squats, and planks are just a few different exercises you can use with just your body weight. Make sure to do a variety to get the best results!
4. Fun, outdoor recreational activities
A few ideas...
-capture the flag
-running around with kids (great if you're babysitting)
5. Swimming in a nearby lake or pool
Cool off in the water and get some exercise while doing it! Swimming burns the same amount of calories in the same amount of time as running, but works different muscles. This is a great way to cross-train if you're running or jogging often. Just make sure that wherever you swim, it is safe!
6. Walk or bike to work
Especially if it's a nice day, walking or biking instead of driving will be refreshing. It also saves gas, money, and helps the environment.
7. Dance in your room
Even before I got my Zumba instructor license, I would do Zumba at home! There are Zumba Fitness video games, but I just like to do it without a game. I either memorize the dances to the songs I am teaching or the ones I have taken and do them, or learn one from YouTube. Last week, I did Zumba in my living room with a friend! So much fun.
8. Watch exercise videos online
Speaking of watching videos online, YouTube is a great place to find exercise tutorials. There are SO many videos and channels that it would take its own post to list them all. (Maybe this will be another post soon? Haha stay tuned!)
9. Search online for "free ____ class in _____"
Fill in the blanks with your desired class and then city and see if there are any free classes in your area! Try a new class from a different place every time to save a bunch of money while trying new things.
There you go! Nine simple ways to exercise for free (or almost free!) These are especially great for summer because of the nice weather. If you have any more ways to exercise that you'd like to add, feel free to add yours below!