Our guide to the best ways to burn calories without burning a hole in your wallet
As the weather cools down, it’s the perfect time of year to get yourself moving. Get out and about to warm up, enjoy some fresh air and sunlight and reap the benefits of exercise and fitness.
Here’s our top tips for ensuring you fit into those winter jeans without busting your budget!
Start walking….or even running
Getting fit really can be as simple as lacing up your trainers and heading out for a stroll, power walk or a run – whatever pace takes your fancy!
- Not only does walking (or running!) get your heart rate up and blood pumping, but it’s free, a great way to meet up with friends and enjoy a chat while you exercise.
- You can also explore parts of the Gong that you haven’t yet seen. Plus, you’ll be saving on fuel and cash by leaving the car or bus pass at home!
- If you enjoy group fitness, check out The Heart Foundation Community Walking Network. As Australia’s largest free community-based walking network, this is a brilliant way to take your first steps to increase your physical activity.
- Check out their huge range of walking groups in the Wollongong area, including the Illawarra Walkers, Active Appins, Kanahooka Walkers and the Albion Park Happy Yaks.
- There’s also this great guide to walking trails in the area. From the Blue Mile boardwalk along Cliff Road to beautiful bushwalking trails in the Royal National Park and Illawarra Escarpment, there’s stunning walks for all fitness levels and abilities.
- This National Parks guide to some great walks in the Wollongong area will also inspire you to get walking and exploring.
- Runners will love jumping onto the Park Run bandwagon. At 7am every Saturday you can head to your nearest site to join a free 5km run. There’s a Park Run each week at Sandon Point, or check out their website for other locations and more info.
Outdoor gyms – fun and free!
Wollongong has lots of great parks kitted out with fun, stimulating and challenging fitness circuits. Take a walk or jog to your nearest park as a warm up, and enjoy the free facilities.
- These outdoor gyms are a great way to improve your fitness level and general coordination.
- Parks where fitness equipment is available include WA Lang Park on Marine Drive in Wollongong, Kanahooka Park, Nicholson Park in Woonona and Holborn Park in Berkeley.
- Check out the council’s guide to all the other great parks in Wollongong and explore one near you today!
Create your own outdoor workout
Prefer to head to your own local park or beach and craft your own workout session, without needing fancy equipment?
- You’ll find some great outdoor workout routines here and here.
On your bike!
Wollongong has some spectacular cycling routes and trails.
Free personal training by phone
Give NSW Health’s Get Healthy program a call! This free and confidential phone coaching service will give you all the info and support you need to make healthy lifestyle changes, including:
- healthy eating
- being physically active
- achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
The service offers up to 10 free coaching calls with a personal health coach for up to 6 months, great info and tips, a coaching journal to write down your goals and actions, as well as great website with tools to help you track your progress.
- Get starter and give them a call today on 1300 806 258.
Free Seniors exercise classes
The NSW Active & Healthy initiative offers a range of free exercise programs for older residents.
- From Tai Chi and Yoga to walking groups and strength building or gentle exercise classes, there’s something to suit all needs.
- Jump online to check out the range of active seniors classes available near you.
If team sports are more you thing to get your moving and motivated, there’s a huge variety of sports and training options and facilities all over the Illawarra.
And for those rainy days….
You don’t have to miss your workout on those days when the sun isn’t shining or you can’t leave the house.
- Borrow a fitness dvd from the library. You can burn 500 kilojoules doing a 20-minute resistance-training circuit in your lounge room – not to mention the feel-good endorphins you’ll generate!
- Jump online and jump into one of the gazillions of free workout videos that are available for free, covering everything from gentle exercises to get you started, to full 12-month fitness programs.
- Try popular sites like YouTube and Vimeo – just search for the type of workout you’re after, and off you go!
- Or check out the range of fitness collections available online through the NSW Government’s Healthier You program. There’s a great range of goal-based workouts available, completely free of charge.
So you can see – there really are no more excuses! There are loads of fun and free ways you can get moving and along the road to fitness, without busting your budget. Get started today!