The fact that it is February and we are still talking about fitness means that the resolution period is officially over. That also means that, most likely, gyms are starting to charge full price and those yoga classes you started going to may feel a bit more expensive. While we wait for our tax returns, it is time to optimize our funds (and spend them on like, rent and food. And wine). Whether you want to spice up your routine without spending any cash, want to start getting into fitness but aren’t ready to commit yet, or want a long-term free solution, look no further—below, you’ll find the best ways to work out for free.
I don’t know about you, but I love being home. It’s probably one of my favorite places in the world and I’d rather be at home than at work, at the gym, and at the bar. What better way to work out than in my favorite place? Although I know some people who have a workout routine memorized and they do that at home every now and then, I need some motivation and variety. It’s helpful to have some equipment but in the end unnecessary. You could use water jugs for dumbbells, a chair as a bench, and you can jump rope without the rope! There are a few great ways to maximize you’re at home workout using some free resources.
Some of my favorite workouts have been found on YouTube, and if you’ve been reading for a while you may remember my YouTube Fitness Guide published this past summer. With video on YouTube, you still get the guidance of watching someone do each move. And because there is so much out there (toning, cardio, pilates, yoga, zumba, to name a few), you can add a lot of variety in your routine and stay away from boredom, if you’re susceptible to it while sticking to a workout.
The fit community on Pinterest seems to be alive! I am very very new to the Pinterest game and I have been absolutely amazed by how many different workout routines are posted, and there seems to be something for everyone, whether you’re looking for cardio, yoga, or you’re trying to grow your booty. You can find workouts for days on Pinterest. If you need a place to start, check out 30th & Weldon’s fitness board.
Nike+ Training Club
There are a lot of good fitness apps out there, and I’ve sifted through a lot of them. The Nike+ Training Club app is the best free workout app I have encountered. There are no free trials and no cost to upgrade—the app, and its contents, are 100% free. There are various types of workouts, including cardio, HIIT, pilates, and yoga to keep you excited and focused and, with the ability to choose your level and fitness goal, there is something for everyone. You can create a four-week training program or choose from popular workouts. Workouts on NTC are as long as 60 minutes and as short as 7 (to fit in with any schedule) and have been created and curated by professional trainers & athletes (like Serena Williams, for example) and the app allows you to track your progress. [iOS/Android]
Local Events & Community Classes
Local businesses and fitness studios are a great place to get free workouts. Pay attention to Facebook and you’ll see restaurants and clothing stores hosting free yoga classes. Many fitness studios will offer free (or at least donation-based) community classes. My barre studio, The Dailey Method, has free community classes taught by teachers in training. We’ll also be partnering with TDM to offer a 30th & Weldon barre class in March, so stay tuned for that. Locally, I’ve seen stores like Athleta, lululemon, and sweetgreen host classes at their local Towson & Baltimore locations. Core Power Yoga has been offering a lot of free events recently that have been popping up on Facebook, and Free Baltimore Yoga offers free yoga classes every week.
Be Nice to Your Friends!
Your friends more than likely can help you get your workout on, whether they are a member of a gym or have a fitness center in their building. Most gyms across the country offer various types of guest passes. Some memberships will give you unlimited passes, some will allow you to invite your friends to certain events, and some will even give your friend a trial period (where they don’t even need to bring the membership holder). This is the time to hit up your friends—if you hear someone talking about their workout, find out where they go and coyly ask about a guest pass. If they say their building has a fitness center included in their rent, see if you can sneak in and workout with them! If you have to butter them up, take them out to coffee. The $4 spent on their latte is worth it. Working out with a buddy can also bring added motivation, which is cool too.
This one may seem obvious but still worth noting. As the weather gets warmer, head outside and treat the world like your gym.
The most popular way to get an outdoor workout in is to run. I don’t know about the rest of you but running is weirdly intimidating for me. I always see runners outside making it look effortless, for a long time I was discouraged to try it myself. Then I found the Couch to 5k app [iOS/Android], which does exactly what the title suggests—helps you get running in a manageable way. Your first run will consist of a 5 minute warm-up walk, followed by alternating 60 seconds of jogging/90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Totally doable! The program is designed for you to get 5k ready in 8 weeks, and each week you’re runs get longer and walks get shorter/less frequent.
You can also turn things outside into workout equipment for assists in various exercises. Head to the nearest playground and use the monkey bars for your pull-ups and use a park bench for both step-ups and tricep dips. You can even take some of the Pinterest guides with you above and perform them at a local park.
What is your favorite way to get a free workout in? Comment below! I’m also planning a post on some great cheap workout options, so post some of your favorites below too.