Spring into shape

Get back into your exercise routine
with these no-cost options

Posted April 22, 2015

Though New Englanders might refuse to believe it, spring-like weather—and dare we say, summer—will eventually be upon us.

Which means that for many of us, now is the time to think about getting back into shape. If wielding the snow shovel Sneakerwasn’t enough to neutralize the holiday feasting and revelry, a new exercise program may be in order.

Did we mention free?

The good news is that it need not be expensive. In fact, there’s much you can do without spending an extra penny. U.S. News and World Report* has found five free options for shedding those winter pounds and attaining your fitness goals.

Go for a run or hike
Live close to the trails? Beat the crowd and hit the dirt before hiking season picks up in June. Returning to the great outdoors will be invigorating and can increase your resolve to work toward your goals. And with an activity like hiking, you’re in control and you can work your way back to fitness at your own pace and add time and difficulty as you see fit.

Hit the parks and beaches
If you’re near a beach, you can take advantage of what sand adds to your workouts. Sand increases resistance and hampers balance, so you draw upon more muscles when exercising. Whether it’s squats and lunges or walking and running, calorie burn and muscle use get an overall boost. If you don’t live near a beach, check your city or town website to see what’s offered at public parks.

Squeeze in exercise at work and at home
We’re all busy. It can sometimes be a real challenge to block off 30 minutes for a workout. So try getting in 10 minutes, three times a day. Because the effects of exercise are cumulative, you don’t have to complete it all at once to get the full benefit. Broken up as 10 minutes before work, 10 on your lunch break, and a quick 10 later might be very doable. Walking is an excellent choice for such a routine.

Find free trial memberships
It’s not difficult to find fitness centers offering trial memberships of one or more weeks (and sometimes even more) to get people in the door. You may get the jumpstart you need, or you may decide you’ve found the club for you and join full-time.

Check out free online videos
In early spring, there will still be days when venturing outdoors for a workout is not an option. On those days, you can take advantage of a wide range of exercise videos available online. Websites such as Fitnessblender.com and Bodyrock.tv make it easy to find the routine that works for you, and YouTube has hundreds of channels devoted to fitness.

No time like the present

With these helpful tips, cost does not have to be an impediment to getting back into your routine--or starting  a new one. Remember to always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. See you on the beach!

 More health and wellness resources are available at The Well »



* U.S. News and World Report / Health, April 17, 2014

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The information written about in this blog is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek care from a medical professional when you have a health concern.