I was out doing my grocery shopping the other day and as always I park almost as far away from the building as I can. I know that this is one of those ways to sneak in a little exercise-free exercise. As I walked over to the store I realized that not only was I getting something for free, there was also a “bonus” included in parking farther away-most of the other shoppers try to find the closest parking space so there was less chance that my car would get hit by a careless driver. (I’ve returned to my car several times to find that someone has hit, banged, scraped or scratched my car and then just driven away…)

I started to think about other “free with bonus” examples.

My weekly exercise program includes an hour long walk with a friend three times a week. Again, I have the benefit of free exercise with the added bonus of fresh air and my friend’s undivided attention for an hour which I use like a therapy session. I’m not sure that she would consider this a bonus but I sure do!

I often choose to walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator. I found that in some places I had to wait and wait and wait for the elevator to come and then had to squish into it with the other 10 people who’d been waiting. I found myself getting frustrated and annoyed. I soon discovered that the stairwells are not crowded and there is no waiting involved. I could make it to the doctor’s office faster than if I used the elevator. I avoided the frustration, saved time and snuck in a little stair climbing exercise at the same time.

A friend of mine has to get up early for work, has a long drive back and forth into the city and was usually too tired to go for a walk after supper. Her solution to getting in a little exercise was to walk the top floor of the parking garage (again, how many people want to park at the top and have to walk farther?) during her lunch time. She felt good about getting her walk in during the day and came back to her desk more refreshed and focused for the afternoon’s work.

Apparently a little effort and a little creativity can help you get fit physically and mentally and it doesn’t cost a dime!

Let us know about your free exercise idea and if there’s a bonus feature.