Guest Blogger: Fitness Can Be Free

My Post (2) copy 3Yep, you heard it correctly….FREE!

I used to think getting in shape meant; bro tanks, dumbbells, chalk, gym selfies, and lots of big bulky headphones. I embraced it all, because I thought getting under a squat rack was the way to go. There is so much information out there when it comes to fitness and getting in shape, that it can be overwhelming to say the least. Not to mention, it adds up financially.  I’m excited to chat with you about how you can get in the best shape of your life for FREE. I like the sound of free, don’t you? 

While joining a gym can be an exciting experience, it’s not a cheap one. Many gyms get you with those “joining fees”, and before you know it, you’ve locked into a 6 month contract AND added unlimited tanning…what the heck. Some facilities lure you in with: a sauna, group fitness classes, fancy swag, and a smoothie bar in the lobby. I get it, it’s enticing. Girlfriend, open your eyes and step away from the $75 dollar crop top. With the money saved from a gym membership, that’s a plane ticket – or 7. 

Let’s get into what you can do on your own for little to NO cost at all. During the months in which you can be outdoors, the possibilities are endless. Walking, jogging, biking, and even strength training (yeah!) can all be done outdoors with no equipment, and cater to any level. To get the most “bang for your buck” while hitting those outdoor cardio workouts, think intervals. Short periods of intense activity (biking hills, fast running/jogging/walking, or jump squats) followed by a rest is proven to get you leaned up, and quick! Find a hill in your city or neighborhood and…Get. After. It. Hills spike your heartrate, and are so good for metabolism and fat burning. No need to do these interval workouts for more than 15-20 minutes, 2 times per week! 

When it comes to strength training, body weight exercises are proven to be just as beneficial for muscle tone and definition, if done the right way. Some examples of body weight exercises that you can do ANYWHERE are: squats, lunges, push-ups, dips, planks, burpees, and mountain climbers. If any of those don’t sound familiar to you, YouTube it, and you’ll get some decent guidance. How many sets/reps do you do, and how often, do you ask? Choose 3 upper body exercises, 3 lower body exercises, and 3 core exercises. Keep it simple! Do each for about 20-30 seconds, and rest for 45 seconds in between.  Repeat this as many times as your beautiful self wants, but 3-4 times through this circuit is solid. 

In the winter months, you’ll obviously need to adjust, but you can still find the opportunity to move wherever you go! Think of your city as your gym, and you’ll start to see stairs as an opportunity to do some plyos now like I do. Mall walking is still a thing, and hunny, it’s free! In a very small space in your basement, you can do the above workout with no equipment at all. If you’re watching spending, that’s music to your ears! Still not sold on this free fitness thing? Grab a couple gal pals, make a bomb a$$ playlist, and get to work!

Lindsay Olson

Corporate Health and Fitness Director for United Fire Group. Bachelor of Arts in Health & Wellness/Fitness Development.  ACE Certified Health Coach. Triathlon and exercise enthusiast. Co-owner and co-founder of FUSE Fitness Iowa, L.L.C.