staying fit
Health & Fitness

Staying Fit for Free

Did you start out the New Year with a resolution to live a healthier life? After several weeks of holiday eating, our bodies sure can use a break from the larger portions and all those sweets!

If you live in the north like I do, the grey weather and long dark days can make us feel super sluggish. I try to work out consistently all year long, but it is especially difficult to stay active during the winter months when all you want to do is cuddle up under a cozy blanket.

Along with your diet, your bank account might have taken a bit of a hit over the holidays. Spreading so much joy throughout your family over Christmas isn’t always cheap, which means a gym membership or workout equipment are not an option.

And that’s okay. It is possible to get in shape without spending loads of money.

My husband and I both managed to get in the best shape of our lives with only a bit of equipment, books and online videos, and a good pair of running shoes. There are so many great resources online and in your local library to help you stay active and get in shape. Whether you are looking to drop some weight and burn calories, build and tone muscle, or just some ideas to stay active as a family, you can do it all on a small budget.

The internet is such a great resource for workout ideas. YouTube has lots of full workouts that you can watch for free: simple stretching, cardio and aerobic sets, strength training—my personal favorite!—and even quick workouts for those of us that have busy lives.

A lot of health and fitness magazines also offer free tips and workout ideas on their websites. Plus, check out your local library. You might be able to find workout DVDs, fitness magazines, and, of course, books on eating healthy and exercising.

Staying active as a family is also important, and there are so many options for getting outside during the winter. Going for family hikes is a great way to keep moving. On milder days go for a bike ride or a jog. Sledding is great fun, and that walk back up the hill is a good workout, especially if the little ones ask to be carried.

If you live in the city, become a tourist in your own city by walking around and taking in the sights. On days where it is simply too cold, we burn off our kids’ energy by building obstacle courses. Running around chairs, climbing over couch cushions, and crawling through tunnels is a great indoor activity.

But if all those ideas seem like work, crank the music and have a family dance party! It will be sure to put a smile on everyone’s face and get your heart rate up just the same.

Your turn: what are your free exercise ideas?


I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It