Mel's Take 5

Your Publisher’s Guide to all things #NaturalinNOLA

5 Ways to Workout for free. 

  1. Run/Walk/Ride a bike if you have one. When things get tight, I remind myself that exercise is in fact, free. All I have to do is lace up my Nikes, get outside, and move around. Go for a run, walk my dog, run around with my son, bring my boys to the park, or the levee, ride my bike to run local errands or to just feel like a kid again. Also, if you’re going to hit up one of our local parks, you can make use of the fitness “playgrounds” or equipment that are along the running path in Audubon or clustered throughout City Park. 

  1. Strength train in your kitchen, bedroom, living room, porch, backyard, or deck. Stick to the classics: push-ups, sit-ups, planks, squats, lunges. Google “body weight exercises” if you need ideas and tips for good form. They say consistently is the key and with my busy schedule, I’ve found simply doing 10-15 minutes every morning in my kitchen or on my back deck works more for me than an hour at the gym right now. Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Body, writes about MED, or “minimum effective dose,” which he defines as “the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome.” Anything beyond MED he says is wasteful and actually potentially doing more damage than good. I’ve decided on some days 10 minutes is my MED…haha.  It’s free, convenient, and you can even do it in your pajamas. 

  1. YouTube Videos or fitness apps. If you would like a longer workout and more guidance, there are no shortages of fitness videos out there for free. And with your smart phone, you can take them anywhere! 

  1. NORD/Fit NOLA. Only recently did I find out just how many fitness classes NORD (New Orleans Recreational Department) offers and man, was I impressed with the city’s offerings! Dance, yoga, Pilates, boxing, you name it. All free and all over the city. You can go to their site and use the interactive calendar to find a class near you. We also recently partnered with Fit NOLA, the mayor’s initiative to get NOLA healthier, and they host many classes in partnership with NORD for free and all over the city. Download the Fit NOLA/Eat Fit app for a great local calendar with all the classes that are available and get your Zumba on! 

  1. Fitness Pop Ups. This is the greatest thing to happen to fitness in a long time. I just looooove fitness pop ups. Fitness pop ups are classes that pop up all over the city in super cool locations and can be anything from yoga to HIIT. You’ll find most of them on Facebook which also has a new “Local” app you can download to search events even easier. Here’s what you do. Go to “Events” in Facebook, chose when you would like to search for, click filter—put on the fitness, health, wellness, and/or sports filters, and click apply. In the local app, you can actually just add the word “free” when you search events.  Pick your events, bring a friend, and go! Pop up fitness classes are great because they are usually collaborations of local fitness studios and instructors and a great way for them to get themselves out there. Pop ups are a fun way to try something new, a great way to meet a new workout buddy as they are often part class/part event, and you guessed it, they’re usually free! 


Feel free to reach out to me at any time at