We all get a bounce in our step as the sun comes out and want to make the most of it. However gyms are expensive and make you sign up for 12 months. This is annoying when you know you're going to be bored with your new fitness routine a few weeks and then have to look at the membership tag on your keys for the following 11 months as you pay off the contract. So how to make the most of that newly found inspiration without signing an expensive contact? Free exercise classes do exist, and here is a handy guide to finding them this spring.
City of Darebin has brought back it's poplar outdoor free exercise program, and there is more choice than ever. The program for Spring commenced on the 13 October 2014 and runs until the 5 December 2014, with activities from Monday – Friday across the municipality.
This really is a great initiative. I cannot speak highly enough of it. The idea that a local council is providing free exercise in their parks and gardens is so simple and eloquent, but completely underutilised in Victoria. The program for spring 2014 include Tai Chi, Pilates, Yoga and general outdoor fitness classes. All sessions run from 9.30am – 10.30am, so there is no need to be up at the break of dawn and it's perfect timing for busy parents to get in some exercise after dropping the kids off at school.
More than just exercise, this is a great chance to get to know your neighbours and connect with the community you live in.
The spring program is as follows:
Monday – Outdoor fitness at Penders Park, Thornbury
Tuesday – Tai Chi at Edwardes Lake Park, Reservoir
Wednesday – Pilates at Oldis Gardens, Westgrath
Thursday – Outdoor Fitness at Bundoora Park, Bundoora
Friday – Yoga at Zwar Reserve, Preston
Friday – Outdoor fitness at All Nations Park, Northcote
If mornings are not your thing and the idea of doing fitness in the open parkland is less then appealing, then you may want to look into the Darebin Free Women's Zumba Dance Fitness Class. The classes run at the Preston City Hall at 6-7pm. Term 4 has just started (on 7 October 2014) however you can join at anytime.
These Zumba classes are run by the inspirational Lina Hussein who has lost over 50kg herself in seven years. She puts it down to a change of lifestyle.
Federation Square in the heart of the CBD also offers free guided classes. Whilst they are not as tranquil as a parkland, they are much more convenient for those of us know work 9-5 in the city. Classes include:
Mondays – fitness class in River Terrace, from 6pm- 6.45pm
Wednesday – fitness class in the Amphitheatre, from 7am - 7.45am
Friday - fitness class in the Amphitheatre, from 7am - 7.45am
Fitness classes above include circuit based exercise, which will incorporate body weight exercises, cardio training and core strength movements.
Tuesdays – Tai Chi in the square, from 7.30am – 8.30am
Tuesdays – Yoaga in the Atrium, from 1.15pm – 2pm
Tuesdays – Groove Dance in St Paul's Court, from 6pm – 7pm
Second and fourth Thursday of each – Belly Dancing, from 12.30pm – 1pm
Fridays - Qigong in the square, from 8am – 9am
For those seeking just a little bit of zen as we creep towards the crazy end of the year, Federation Square also offers free meditation classes every Tuesday until 16 December from 12.30pm – 1pm.
City of Stonnington in the city's south is also offering Free Physical Activity Classes in the Parks, with the term four timetable have just commenced on Monday 6 October and running until Friday 19 December 2014. With a focus on yoga and tai chi, you are only asked to bring your own matt to these classes with the timetable as below:
Monday – Gentle yoga at Victoria Gardens, Prahran
Tuesday – Tai Chi at Malvern Gardens, Malvern
Wednesday – Chi Gong at Percy Treyvaud Memorial Park, Malvern East
Thursday – Hatha Yoga at Princes Gardens, Prahran
Friday – Mums and Bubs fitness at Pheonix park, Malvern East
All of the above combined with a short walk or jog a couple of times a week will have you feeling much more in touch with your body by Christmas and leave you a sense of achievement heading into 2015.
So what are you waiting for? Ready to change your lifestyle today... and do it for free!?