Work Out Without Going Out by James Coulter

Work Out Without Going Out

By James Coulter

( ...or at least without spending loads of money on a gym membership!)


Summer is finally upon us! How ready are you for bathing suit season? Even if you’ve been skipping out on your New Year’s resolution to shed a few pounds, it’s never too late to start getting into shape.

Most people try to get fit by joining a gym. However, doing so can be quite costly. Here in the U.S., the average gym membership costs $58 per month, which adds up to $696 per year, according to a study by the Statistic Brain Research Institute.

If you can’t afford to join a gym, or you can’t access a gym due to distance or personal physical restrictions, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to get fit without buying a gym membership. Here are just a few:

Stroll, Walk, Jog, or Run

By far the simplest way to get some exercise is to get more steps into your day. You don’t even need to buy a treadmill. All you need are your own two feet and a pair of comfortable shoes.

The American Heart Association recommends that the average adult walk a minimum of 30 minutes per day, or 150 minutes per week. A simple half-hour stroll around your neighborhood alone can burn anywhere between 90 to 200 calories, depending upon your weight and pace, as reported by Livestrong.

For your first walk, start out simple and slow with a leisurely pace. Start by taking a short walk around the block once or twice after work or dinner. Make it a family affair by taking a stroll with your kids, your significant other, or even your pets.

If where you live isn’t the safest place to walk, don’t worry. There are plenty of nice areas in the county to take a hike, jog, or stroll. Polk County has more than 120 trails that cover more than 375 miles, all through the natural beauty of Central Florida, according to Visit Central Florida.

Some of the most scenic places include trails such as Fort Fraser Trail in Lakeland and Panther Point Trail in Winter Haven, and parks such as Circle B Bar Reserve and Holloway Park in Lakeland. Some parks such as Lake Eva Park in Haines City even have outdoor exercise equipment you can use for short workouts. For a list of local trails, visit this website.

Use Online Fitness Videos

Once upon a time, if you wanted to follow a workout at home, you either had to purchase a cassette tape or wait to watch an exercise program on television. Now thanks to the internet, you can follow along to workout routines anytime and anywhere on your smart television, tablet computer, or even your smart phone.

By searching streaming video websites like YouTube, you can look up any workout routine you want. You can learn to lift weights, work up a sweat with cardio or aerobics, dance along to Zumba, or pose the perfect yoga position by following along to topnotch video instruction.

Some of the most popular fitness YouTube channels include FitnessBlender, BeFiT, and POPSUGAR Fitness.

Attend A Free Exercise Event

Several cities throughout Polk County have recreation centers with weight rooms available to the public for a small daily fee. The Winter Haven Recreational & Cultural even provides a fitness center filled with a variety of free weights and exercise equipment that can all be used by local residents for absolutely free.

Many of these centers offer exercise classes at reduced rates or even for free. The Winter Haven Senior Adult Center hosts a low-impact aerobic exercise class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., and a chair yoga class Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Both classes are free to the public, though registration is required.

Several cities host open nights where members of the community can come together to play sports such as basketball or volleyball. Lake Eva Gym in Haines City hosts Open Gym Volleyball every Wednesday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., while the Winter Haven Recreational & Cultural Center hosts Open Gym Basketball on most days based on gym availability.

If yoga is more of your style, then keep a lookout on The Balance Culture, which hosts special free yoga classes within Lakeland. Past yoga events have been hosted in places such as Haus 820 and Lake Hollingsworth. For more information on upcoming events, follow their Facebook page.