profile_photo_001Trying to get in shape but worried about the cost? Duluth has many opportunities to get in shape without hurting your pocket book. Fall is literally falling upon us and soon all those green leaves will be bright beautiful colors of orange, deep reds and yellows. Why not find a new hiking trail to embrace this change of season, try out a different gym for with a day pass to test your comfort zone, or even do a mini workout in the park when the temperatures aren’t unbearable?

Duluth’s hiking system is voted amongst the top in all the United States. It is not only vast, but it has trails for beginners and avid advanced – and the bonus, you can find spots that are completely submerged in nature without another person lollygagging around. Sounds a little anti-social but sometimes it is fantastic to just be away from all the humming and submerge yourself in the silence nature offers. AND it’s free! Now most everyone I know who lives in Duluth mentions walking on the Lake Walk, and yes this place is a beauty, but it can be a bit packed. So, why not try some place new that isn’t as crowded? Hiking in spots like the Water Front Trail in West Duluth, Lester Park in Lakeside, Chester Park by UMD or even the Lake Superior Hiking trail which spans Duluth from the East to the West are right within your neighborhood. There are plenty of options showcasing where to go and how to get there!

If hiking isn’t your thing and you still want to get in shape, Duluth has a variety of gyms to test out. Most of the gyms will allow you to try them for FREE, and they don’t let you just try it for one day, most of them offer a week pass. We have many gyms all throughout the city, places like Crossfit Aerial, the YMCA and Anytime Fitness. If you’re still hesitant because, let’s be real, being in a new environment is scary, places like Anytime Fitness will allow you a whole week to try out the gym and on top of that you can set up an appointment with a personal trainer to get you
orientated with the equipment and help you feel comfortable in this new atmosphere for FREE. I like the sound of all this free opportunity.

If hiking or visiting a local gym doesn’t spike your interest, what about a free workout in the park? Natural and manmade structures can provide an amazing workout. Lincoln, Chester and Lester parks all have many options to get a great workout in, from walking up and down the hills, running up and down the stairs, to using the benches for a full body workout. I know when I’m walking up a hill in Duluth this is no joke. It’s tough! Hill walking has a ton of benefits, and notice I said walking, not running. Despite the wear and tear on our vehicle brakes, we can get some good use out of these hills, things like beautifully sculpted legs and a great heart pump! Whether or not you’ve lived here long it is very clear we have plenty of hills to go around. We also have plenty of stairs, benches and parks. Let’s take the bench. The bench can be used for step-ups, push-ups, plank holds and squats! If that last sentence made your brain hurt just imagine what it can do for the body.

Now fitness shouldn’t be a chore. There are many of opportunities to make fitness fun from testing out new trails while taking in what nature has to offer, to trying out a local gym and even working out in the park. Our bodies love to move, our mind needs it. Find what you love, and love what you do! Some people aren’t gym-goers, and some people don’t like being out in the woods, but to each their own. Yet all of us would benefit from a bit of movement and movement that does not hurt the bank is an added bonus. What are you waiting for? Be a tourist for a day, hike around the city and test out some new gyms. You won’t regret it!

1. Modified push-up, using the bench makes it easier than push-ups off the ground. Try for 10-20.

2. Squat: Sit on bench, feet shoulder width apart and stand up. Sitting back down and tap butt off bench. Do 10-20 reps.

3 Step up: bottom left start of the step-up, bottom right end of the step up. Do 10-20 steps per leg.

Written by Terry Wosmek for the Magazine.