Nine ways to stay fit for free

When you’re living on a tight budget, a gym membership might not make the cut on your list of priorities. And while gyms are certainly convenient, there’s a ton of free ways to make sure your fitness doesn’t fall to the curb.

MI Big Green Gym:  About a year ago, MI Big Green Gym was launched to encourage Michigan residents to take advantage of the state’s extensive network of parks and recreation options. From yoga and swimming to hiking and paddling, Michiganders have a wide variety of physical activities to pursue year-round. Thanks to Blue Cross and Michigan Public Libraries, free one-day passes into a State Park or Recreation Area will be available through nearly 500 libraries around Michigan.

Body weight: While dumbbells and gym equipment can be convenient, your own body weight is more than enough to get a great workout. Check out these bodyweight exercises that will give you a total body workout wherever you are.

Work out with your baby: Trying to shed some of that pregnancy weight? Here are some great tips on how to include your baby in your workout… along with the most adorable tutorial video you’ve ever seen.

Housework and chores: You’d be surprised by how many calories you can burn while being productive. Check out these 10 chores that burn 100 calories. Not only are these good for your physical health, but keeping a clean and organized house has mental health benefits as well.

Go online: Whether you’re looking for a 60 minute cardio routine or just trying to squeeze in a five minute ab workout, YouTube has it all. Just clear out some space in your living room, and you can have a personal trainer right at home.

Community initiatives: Many communities provide health initiatives for residents. In Detroit, Blue Cross and the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy have a multi-year partnership, Live the Riverfront, which encourages residents to get healthy on the river. The initiative includes Walk the RiverWalk Wednesdays and free weekly T’ai Chi and Yoga classes.

Find an app: Whatever you need to stay fit an active – there’s almost certainly an app for that. There’s free tutorials, how-to videos and tips on technique. Need a little incentive? Try one of these apps to keep yourself motivated.

Grab a buddy: Like most things in life, working out is better  with a friend. When you commit to working out with a pal (or two), it can give you the extra push you need to get started. And when you work out with friends, you’ll likely find yourself pushing harder and even (gasp) enjoying your workout!

Do the little things: If you have a crazy schedule and don’t always get the time to exercise, try to stay healthy in little ways. For some ideas, check out this post on how to squeeze in a workout, four minutes at a time

Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan

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