Stay Fit for Free during the Winter

Asian woman doing exercise on gym floor with the help of a personal trainer.

Photo by familymwr, Flickr

Exercising for free during the winter can be a challenge. The following are some ideas about how to stay active!  

Fitness DVDs from the library.

Exercise along with the experts using pilates, yoga, aerobics, or other fitness DVDs from the library.

Search the website and put items you’d like to use “on hold” — select your branch for pickup, and when they are ready, you’ll get an email or phone call letting you know.

If space is limited, choose yoga or pilates — where you can do most things on the space of a mat.

Use phone apps.

For smart phone owners — a ton of free phone apps available in iPhone and Android  app stores feature videos of how to do toning and other exercises, including yoga poses and pilates. Also check out podcasts like Podrunner, which feature music with a stong beat to energize your running.

Walk in the mall.

Take your child and the stroller down to Lloyd Center and walk around each floor — without stopping to shop.

Walk or run on a high school track.

On days when the weather is tolerable, go for a walk or run on the nearest public track. If the track is well enclosed, you can let your little one toddle after you (or take the stroller!).

General exercise tips.

  • Whatever you choose, be safe, drink enough water, and wear the right gear.
  • If you’re exercising outdoors, meet up with a friend — both to help you stay motivated, and to stay safe.
  • Remember to drink water throughout the day, not just while you’re exercising.
  • Clothes made out of manmade materials (not like cotton) will tend to keep you dryer and warmer.
  • Wear supportive shoes that were made for action.
  • And wear bright or fluorescent clothes to stay visible!

Celebrate the holidays on a dime

Ways to celebrate the Holiday season affordably.homemade gift

Here are some ideas for giving gifts that are valuable — but not expensive.

Consider holding a White Elephant party for family and friends. At a white elephant party, everyone brings something they already own — often something funny like an old piece of clothing that is really outdated, or a silly photograph. This is also a great way to “re-gift” something that you received in the past but that you’ve never used. The time you spend together laughing is really the best gift you’ll give or get this year!

Agree to do something together.  Instead of wrapping a gift, share an invitation to go someplace special together. A walk in the park, a picnic, a ride around a neighborhood with Christmas lights. Decorate the invitation so it feels like a gift — you can even put it in a box or gift bag.

Hold a toy, clothes and/or book exchange for kids. Get together with friends and family to exchange kids’ clothing, toys and books. Limit the exchange to items that are “gently used,” and have some extra parents on hand to watch the kids in another room. Alternately visit the Garage Sale on NE Martin Luther King to find affordable second-hand gifts.

Create a personalized coupon or coupon book. Offer to watch a friend’s child, wash your mom’s car, paint your aunt’s nails, or give your niece a makeover.

Teach someone a new skill. Do you text? Use Facebook? Have an email account? Teach an older relative how to get started using modern communication! Show them how to create a profile, select a hard-to-guess password, and strike the right tone.

Make something.  Draw a picture, write a letter, bake a mini-loaf of bread. melt old crayons and mold them into candles, or a create heart-felt card. Find art supplies dirt cheap at Scrap on NE Martin Luther King.