Get Fit For Free

Gabriela Baca
marie claire

Try before you buy

If you're keen to take fitness classes but can't commit to a gym membership, visit www.gymlink.com.au, which offers free trial memberships or visits to gyms in your local area. Not only will you save money, but you can also try a range of work-outs, from boxing to Pilates. And the best part about varying your routine is that it will burn extra kilojoules as your body adjusts to each new exercise.

Get on the right track

Addicted to the treadmill? Take your training outside and you'll burn up to 30 per cent more kilojoules - and even more if it's cold, according to James Raftos from Fitness Institute Australia. For a total body work-out, head to an Exersite – a specially designed outdoor system with fixed equipment like body-curl benches and chin-up bars. To find the nearest one, visit www.fitnesstrails.com.au.

Log on

Put those hours spent in front of a computer to good use and consider working out with one of the many exercise classes available online – visit www.demandfitness.com or www.slimtree.com. Also, browse iTunes for iPhone and iPod applications like training planners and podcasts.

Get Together

Studies* suggest that exercising in a group makes you much more likely to stick to your work-out program. It's worth joining a team or scheduling a regular work-out with friends, advises Tina Vindum, author of Outdoor Fitness (Globe Pequot Press, $29.95): "Group sessions have the frequency benefit because the chance of you staying in bed while everyone else is exercising
is minimal."

GYM JUNKIES

Can’t give up the gym? Follow these tips...

Rest Less
"Reducing recovery time between sets can boost fat burning by up to 50 per cent," says personal trainer Malcolm Lyons. Set up a circuit-training route and go straight from one exercise to the other without pausing.

Jump to it
"Include jumping exercises," recommends personal trainer Aaron Zimmerman. "Skipping for 15 minutes burns the same amount of kilojoules as running two kilometres in eight minutes."

Get a Leg up
"Your legs are your biggest muscles and burn five times as many kilojoules as other tissue," says US fitness guru Dr Susan Smith Jones. "So the quickest way to burn fat is to work your legs often."


* American Academy of Physician Assistants, 2005
Photo: Getty Images