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Get Fit for Free

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by Ranyhyn Akui (subscribe)
A UQ student whose favourite method of procrastination is getting out of the house and enjoying what Brisbane has to offer.
Published March 8th 2012

Gym memberships, personal training and boot camps: all these are great ways to improve your fitness and lose weight but they can also end up being very expensive. If you're often running short on funds, like me, and exercise just isn't one of your budget's priorities, there are still plenty of ways to get moving for free.

Walking and Running
This is probably the easiest and most convenient way to fit some exercise into your day. Get up an hour earlier and go for a jog around the neighbourhood or just a brisk walk (up and down hills is best). Walking is fantastic for weightloss while running is a great way to get fit. There are plenty of free apps for smartphones to track your walks/runs and motivate you go further. If you get bored of your local streets, see here for some great Brisbane routes.

Excercise Parks
Many parks around Brisbane, such as Pegg's Park in Indooroopilly, Carindale Recreation Reserve and Balis Street Park in Holland Park, have been equipped with exercise facilities. This great initiative from the Brisbane City Council means one can go along to the parks and use machines such as cross trainers at some and fitness circuits with sit up benches and the like at others. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a comprehensive list of similar parks but feel free to comment if you know of others.

Salsa Dancing
Dancing has always been a fun and social way to get fit and on Friday nights on Little Stanley Street in Southbank and Raddacliff Place at the top of the Queen Street Mall, you can also do it for free. Salsa lessons kick off at 7pm the music keeps going after the lessons for anyone to get on the dance floor and salsa the night away.

Stair Climbing
Anyone who lives in an upper-floor apartment without a lift will know how much this gets the heart pumping. Running (or walking) up and down a few flights of stairs is a great form of interval training. If you don't have any, there are plenty of staircases around the city and a great set in Kangaroo Point, otherwise try your nearest carpark with stairs, a pedestrian rail bridge or whatever else you can find around you.

Bouldering
This one is little bit different. Bouldering is rockclimbing: only across instead of up. It's a very good upper body workout and doesn't require the harness and ropes that climbing does. Proper climbing shoes do make it easier but they aren't completely necessary. Just head to the Kangaroo Point cliffs or Toohey Forest, find your inner spiderman and start climbing. For safety, it's a good idea to take along a friend to spot you and remember, across not up! Stick as close to the ground as possible to minimise the risk if you fall.


Gym Passes
Finally, if it's looking to be a wet week and you can't get outdoors, a lot of gyms, such as Goodlife and Fitness First, offer free one day passes or sometimes even weekly ones. Just hit up the website of your local gym and download one.

So now you have no excuse to get off the couch and get moving. Summer may be over but it's only nine months until it returns so best to start getting in shape now.
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Why? Get motivated to get moving without hurting the wallet.
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