Posh Tip: 5 Ways to Workout Without Buying a Gym Membership

It's the time of year where lots of people (myself included) make health, wellness and fitness goals or resolutions. Though you may have every intention of taking better care of your body, you may not have the additional budget for an expensive monthly gym membership. But there are plenty of ways to get fit without stretching (pun intended) beyond your financial means. Here are 5 ways to workout in the new year, without buying a gym membership.

1. Walk / Run Outside
If you live in a moderate climate, or can easily stand the cold, the simplest way to workout is to walk or run outside. You get fresh air in your lungs, lots of gorgeous scenery and a full body workout all in one. And you can go as long or as short a distance as you choose. Go alone and take the time to think, or grab a friend or two for group motivation.

If you're on the East Coast or other areas where it's cold right now, try layering in Under Armour Cold Gear. It's designed to use your body's movement to trap the warmth that you generate naturally when you're physically active. I have one of the hoodies and it has worked wonders even for standing still when outside in the evening cold at The Kid's football games. So a bit pricey, but totally worth the investment.

2. Utilize Exercise On Demand
As a Comcast customer, I have access to Xfinity On Demand--but I know some other cable providers have similar set ups for direct access to programming at any time. Xfinity on Demand has a fitness category that's filled with a variety of workouts from yoga and pilates to dance fitness (I am a huge fan of the kickboxing workouts). The fitness programs are also timed anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, so it's easy to find one that fits your schedule.

3. Fitness Apps
There are free fitness apps available for iPhone and iPad that will guide you through custom workouts, on your schedule. Download Daily Ab Workout, Daily Arm Workout, Daily Butt WorkoutDaily Cardio, Simply Yoga (my favorite) or all around Daily Workouts from the iTunes store. Of the apps that are no longer free, they are still less than $5--you certainly won't get a monthly gym membership for that price! Maybe this is a good way to use that iTunes gift card you received over the holiday? 

4. Drop-in/Community Classes
Many fitness centers will offer drop-in or community classes that are available to everyone, including non-members, at a discounted rate. You may have to do some research to find them, but I'm sure a quick survey of the websites or Facebook pages of fitness centers in your area will turn up some info. They want to bring people in so they are definitely advertising these offers. Using sites like Groupon and Living Social is also a fantastic method for snagging special discounted rates on a series of classes (i.e. $10 classes for $60 or one-month membership for $30) without getting locked into a membership. 

In the Baltimore area, Charm City Yoga offers a variety of community yoga classes for just $6 each; Overlea Fitness offers Zumba and other specialty classes for just $5 each; and Brick Bodies sometimes offers group training for non-members that ranges from $10-$20 per class. 

5. Apartment/Condo Community Fitness Centers
Some apartment and condo communities offer free access to a resident fitness center. If you live in such a community and are unsure if this is an offering, reach out to your leasing center for more information. If you don't live in one of these communities, perhaps you have a friend who does. Find out what their guest policy is--maybe you can tag along for a few workouts!

I've utilized each of these methods at some point. Currently, I'm making use of the iPad apps, and I plan to start taking community yoga classes once or twice per week. Then when spring rolls around, I'll definitely be hitting the pavement again.

Have you set any health or fitness goals for this year? What's your plan for achieving them? 

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