Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stay in shape on a Dime

Because, hey, before you know it we'll be gym-rats again!

The ever-anticipated Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, and for those of us Divas in the Northeast it means three key things:

1. We can finally wear white without worrying about that fashion-faux-pas, which was ingrained into our minds long ago.
2. Our tanlines are no longer non-existent.
3. It's "summer."

My point here is this: Take advantage of the next few months of beautiful weather and consider taking your workout routine outside. As a frequenter to the gym for as long as I can remember, I never thought I'd be one to say, "I'll be 'freezing' my gym membership this week." But I just said it, and I am. Because I realized two MAJOR benefits of doing so: I'll get fresh air after a long day in the office and save a pretty penny each month.

If you're locked into a gym membership, inquire about "freezing" it-- some gyms will charge you a small fee per month to keep it "frozen," while others may not even allow it. Because of the state of the economy, however, plenty of gyms in the area are offering promos to those "freezing"-- not canceling-- memberships (such as no-charge "freezing" for X-number of months).

Once you've "frozen" that membership, warm-up outside with one of these no- or low- cost exercises:

1. Running. Burns 600 to 700 calories/hr. There's plenty of routes in the area to conquer head-on, including the Charles' River Esplanade or down Beacon St., retracing the Boston Marathoners' route. Look up other local routes at MapMyRun.com.

2. Walking. Burns about 250 calories/hr., depending on your pace. Make it as simple as walking, instead of other transportation, or go for a power-walk along one of the MyMyRun.com routes.

3. Swimming. Burns 500 to 600 calories/hr. The Mirabella (North End) Pool (Commercial St., North End). $10 for the entire summer. Enough said.

4. Tennis. Free outdoor courts throughout the city (Patience not included! Courts can be busy and waits can be long, especially on weekends). There are two courts on the Common, one in the South End's Southwest Corridor, two on the Esplanade close to North Station, and several at North End park on Commercial St.; check out a complete list of court locations (and which ones are lit) here.


  1. And don't forget to play Hacky Sack in the park for a 300-calorie bonus! Great link:


  2. There's lots of other places you can swim in the area for free if you're not afraid of some cold water and some sand. Try out Carson's Beach and L-Street in South Boston for some great city-sea swimming for free. Also, if you care to venture out of the city, you can hit up loads of local freshwater swimming holes like Walden Pond and Lake Cochituate where local triathletes and open water swimmers do their thing regularly. These venues are free, just pay a few bucks to park in the state park lots (or find a side street somewhere nearby and hike to the water.) It's also super cheap to head to Nantasket Beach in Hull for a day of swimming- public lots cost about $3-$5 for the day for all the sun, sand, and surf you can handle.