So you want to get fit but you either:
a) can’t afford a gym membership;
b) don’t like gyms; or
c) can’t be bothered going to a gym.
FIRSTLY – you need to be self motivated for these methods to work (so option C does not really help you here), there won’t be a personal trainer or class instructor there pushing you, that part is up to YOU! The fact that you are reading this at least says you have some form of motivation inside you.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
Yep, it’s on you to get out there! Need some help? Enlist a friend to go with you, meeting up for a walk is a great way to catch up one on one with your pals without distractions, and is a lot cheaper and healthier then shopping or having dinners and drinks.
We all love free stuff so here are some ideas on things you can do to get moving, without joining up to a gym and parting with those hard earned $$$$.
Part 1 – Get Outside
Alternatively, you can just run along the foot path.
This is the probably the most obvious way to get fit for free. Step outside your door and you are in natures gym! You can always try Parkour but if that’s not your cup of tea try the below ideas:
|Personally, I would not choose the middle of the road to stretch. Image via http://lornajaneactive.tumblr.com/|
Go for a walk, jog or run outside and around your local neighbourhood. Check out your local park, there is usually some sort of equipment you can use for a few body weight exercises to finish your run. Think push ups and stretches on a park bench or pull ups on monkey bars. Time to improvise! You might find some dedicated walking/running tracks conveniently close to home that provide a lot nicer scenery than a treadmill.
Enjoy going on walks? Consider delivering catalogues and pamplets. Positions are advertised all the time and you can get paid for basically walking around. Warning, sorting and folding the catalogues can be very annoying, also beware of dogs.
Have you ever considered walking to work or school? I used to live a 10 minute drive from my work and never even considered walking. Once day I randomly did, and from then on I didn’t stop. It’s a great way to wake yourself up and I always felt ready and alert once I arrived at work. You burn extra calories through incidental exercise, save money on public transport/fuel/parking and it is good for the environment, WIN.
Short on time? Walk one way and catch public transport/ carpool home. It does require you to be slightly more organised in the mornings as you have to leave the house earlier but after a week or so it will become part of your regular morning routine. Even doing it one day a week is better then nothing and once you start walking, you will be much more inclined to walk to other places. There is nothing like a Sunday morning walk to your favourite café for brunch on a sunny morning, now to hold off ordering the hollandaise sauce…
Tip: Rain does not help this plan.
|A downloadable app of local walks, thanks www.parks.tas.gov.au !|
Look up your local national park information online. You don’t have to be a hiking pro to enjoy this. There is usually a lot of online content with all the information on local parks and reserves with the length and level of difficulty provided. Living in a state like Tasmania there are multiple parks around the place often only a short drive away. I recently discovered there is a track only a 10 minute walk away that leads to a great waterfall, thanks google! Start with short walks and gradually increase distance and incline.
Exploring national parks and reserves are a great way to learn and discover more about your home town by getting to know local areas and land marks and the best thing is that you are usually rewarded with an amazing view at the end of each walk. It can be quite a surprise to find places you never knew about right outside your door. Have a turn at playing the tourist, Trip Advisor is a great place to start. Now when your interstate relatives and friends come to visit you will know the best spots to take them and maybe even a few fun facts. Impress your guests by memorising a scientific plant name or historical date and fact off the signs prior. What a smartie!
|The Neck, Bruny Island, Tasmania. Need. To. Go. Here. Image via Pintrest.|
Tip: leave the earphones at home and enjoy nature, instead use your smartphone’s camera to capture some of the amazing views you will see.
Hit the beach
|Image via Pintrest|
Now the weather is getting warmer the beach is a great place to work out. It is easy to cover a lot of distance walking along a nice long stretch of beach, before you know it, you have done 10K. There are plenty of websites that list the benefits of soft sand running, making your body work harder (quads, hip flexors and glutes in particular) just be careful and go at your own pace. Throwing in a run or fitness session at the beach is a great way to mix up your workouts and use different muscles that you may not usually. Plus you can go for a paddle or swim after, which is great for muscle recovery
Ok, I know the thought of hitting the beach can be a bit difficult in the winter months but there is a totally different vibe at the beach in winter, everything looks different and you will most likely have the place to yourself so give it a go.
Step it up
Just looking at this pic makes my legs sore
(Mount Nelson Steps – Hobart, Tas)
Right, this is the hard part. I am sure you can all think of a giant set of steps around your neighborhood somewhere or you have driven past and seen someone climbing them and thought “you poor thing”. Well now it is time for YOU to tackle those steps! Check out google maps or Foursquare if you don’t know of any big stretches of stairs and find some. Start at the bottom and do not stop until you reach the top! Then jog back down for a nice warm down. Depending on the length and incline you can mix up what you do here from interval sets, repeating sections, stretches and upper body work on the side railings.
For the fit people out there, try finishing off your run with a steps session, you will feel it the next day. I went on a 4k return jog to the above steps, ran up and back home, and when I finally finished I was DYING. Suffice to say I have a long way to go with my endurance
Climbing stairs are a great way to challenge yourself. Make yourself a playlist help get you to the top and take a moment to revel in your success once you get there. Once you have conquered a set of steps, every time from then on you know you have completed it once, so there is no reason why you cannot do it next time. Going up an incline is pretty much like doing big lunges and are a great lower body and abdominal workout. A friend and I used to climb the above stairs once a week after work. It was a great way to catch up and by the time we finished talking we were at the top! Remember if you do not challenge yourself, how will you learn and grow?
Tip: Try timing yourself the first time and make that your time to beat next time. If you do it on a regular basis you will be surprised at how quickly your times improve and how easier they become to climb.
Enlist a furry friend
If you have a dog you are one step ahead. Most if not all dogs love a walk, why not try an alternative walk to usual or take your dog on a short trip and explore some new local areas, you will probably find some great tracks and reserves on the way and meet lots of other interesting pet owners.
No dog? Bring a friend for company if you get bored listening to your iPod or better yet, become a
professional dog walker, get fit and paid at the same time!
Tip: It is best est to research locations prior instead on winging it as pets are not allowed at certain beaches and national parks etc.
I have not suggested outdoor sports and activities such as cycling, rollerblading, skateboarding, surfing, kayaking etc. as they require equipment which it NOT free. Reach out to that sporty friend or colleague, if you know someone with a spare bike or kayak lying around then go for it! Might be a good idea to get the friend to come with you to: