Fit for Free

Now that I’m on summer vacation, I’m able to put more time into my fitness habits. I have a gym membership, of which I’ve been making good use. I also love fitness classes and routines for their high-energy pace. At my gym, the group classes only come with a premium membership, and the cost is not within my budget. Sound familiar? We should not have to sacrifice our fitness and happiness because we aren’t able to pay up. So, what can we do? Here are 4 media outlets that provide free/included fitness programs for all sorts of exercise, including cardio, toning, HIIT, abs, dance, pilates, Zumba, yoga, and more.

*Note: Walking and running are free, no-subscription-needed, and wonderful ways to get outdoors. I simply don’t know enough about this type of fitness to write about it. For ways to spice up your walking routine, see this PDF from Prevention.com.

1. On-Demand Fitness & Workouts

Home Fitness Equipment, Blue Fitness Equipment
Photo from MaxPixel
  • Why? A group-class feel, without having to pay for the class, in the convenience of your own living room.
  • Cost? It depends on your provider and your existing cable package. We have Comcast XFinity, which has dozens of workouts included with our very basic package. Of course, that’s with our $100/month cable and internet package, but it is no additional charge.
  • Time? Workouts vary from 5 minute tone-ups to full hour-long classes. XFinity allows playlists, so you can mix and match different routines without the interruption of finding the remote.
  • Type? Free workouts in our package include cardio, dance, yoga, whole-body toning, kickboxing, indoor walking, and tabata. Some require hand-weights or a yoga mat; others are prop-free.
  • Notes: Check with your cable provider to better understand your free options. Streaming on devices may not be available for all videos, depending on the program. XFinity offers paid programs and subscriptions, including Gaia and Grokker, which each have a monthly subscription fee of $5-10/month.

2. Ekhart Yoga

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Photo from MaxPixel
  • Why? Esther Ekhart is a yogi extraordinaire, balanced and calm yet vibrant and lively. She is my favorite yoga instructor, including those I’ve had in-person!
  • Cost? Free on YouTube; $120/year for unlimited access to stream online classes.
  • Time? Short introductions to poses and sequences range from 5-10 minutes; longer classes range from 45-60 minutes.
  • Type? Ekhart Yoga has their own set of playlists for different intended purposes (for example, morning yoga, standing yoga, yoga for pregnancy, yoga for seniors, meditation, and more). With hundreds of videos to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find something that works for you.
  • Notes: There are a few free online classes on the Ekhart Yoga website; to unlock all classes, you’ll need a subscription. Along with the subscription, you’ll get access to stream all of the classes on a wide range of devices.

3. Amazon Prime

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  • Why? There’s a huge variety of options, from beginner to advanced, from ballet to kickboxing. You can stream on any device where you watch Amazon video, too, which makes it an extremely accessible service.
  • Cost? Free with Amazon Prime subscription
  • Time? 20-90 minutes, depending on the type and intensity of the workout.
  • Type? A quick search brought me to ballet, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), kickboxing, power yoga, and pilates, to name a few. Some programs are one episode only; others are part of a series with the same instructor.
  • Notes: If you have a device and an Amazon Prime account, you can workout anywhere, which means travelling is no longer an excuse to skip exercising!

4. YouTube

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Image by WolfmanBlacque on https://flic.kr/p/4NzLbu
  • Why? Free, free, free! If you’ve got internet, you’ve got access to millions of workouts (31.5 million, to be exact!).
  • Cost? Free
  • Time? From 2-minute intros to specific exercises to 90-minute calorie-busters.
  • Type? If you can imagine the workout, there’s a YouTube video for it. No need for a personal trainer; just pick your target muscle group, type it into the search bar, and you’re set! Plus, if you find a trainer you love, chances are they have a whole slew of videos to choose from.  It’s also a great platform for free interactive media with larger brands, such as Yoga Journal, Women’s Health, Men’s Fitness, and POPSUGAR Fitness.
  • Notes: It’s nearly impossible to find Zumba on any streaming platforms–the company wants us to pay their trained instructors for classes, and very little original, digital content is available through their YouTube channel besides promotions. Instructors have taken to YouTube, recording their Zumba routines for home-use. Get your groove on for FREE!

In this digital age, there are so many excellent ways to exercise your body without exercising your wallet. What’s your favorite way to workout for free? Let us know in the comments below.

Stay savvy!

–Kim

Featured image from MaxPixel

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