If you’re looking to cash in on the benefits of the group fitness world this year, beware of giving your wallet a workout before you even do a single squat.
Monique Mynlieff, owner of Red Monkey Pilates Studio at 3001 E. Skyline Drive, teaches a free fitness class several Wednesdays a month during Meet Me at La Encantada.
“The whole thing of consistency with fitness depends on whether someone knows you make it there or not …” Mynlieff says. “You find that you get committed because people miss you when you’re not there.”
She also believes that “free” removes the intimidation factor, drawing not just the “workout person with the right clothes” but also “the person who works out in their sweats.”
Besides, if you want to sweat in style, you’ll need to protect that pocketbook, and that’s where the freebies come in.
So shop around — free fitness abounds. Explore websites such as meetup.com and programming at the Pima County Public Library for further options.
Here are just a few more choices we found to get you fit for free:
Meet Me at Maynards. The social walk or run traverses 2 to 4 miles through downtown Tucson every Monday. Check-in begins at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress, from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. See meetmeatmaynards.com for more information.
Meet Me at La Encantada. Check in at the La Encantada courtyard, 2905 E. Skyline Drive, Wednesdays from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. for a 3-mile walk or run or a 1.5-mile walk. Start with a group around 5:55 p.m.
Other options include a “Stretch and Strength” class taught by Mynlieff that begins at 5:20 p.m. and lasts for about 30 minutes. Instead of running or walking, you can also choose a tai chi class or another fitness class. Red Monkey and BC Dance Tucson take turns offering options including dance, Zumba and Pilates. See meetmeatlaencantada.com for more information and a schedule.
Lululemon Athletica. The athletic apparel store in La Encantada has hosted free yoga classes on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. Check lululemon.com/tucson/laencantada/events or call 529-7024 for more information. Another activewear store, Lorna Jane, will open at La Encantada early this year and is also known for free classes, Mynlieff says.
The Core. Tucson Medical Center’s new health and wellness hub at La Encantada is not a clinic or a gym, but “everything in between,” says manager Tim Bentley. In 2014, the center started offering a variety of lectures and fitness classes, mostly free or for a small fee, including 15-to-20-minute family Zumba classes. Check thecoretmc.com for a schedule.
Dance, Dance January. Himmel Park Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave., is hosting a series of adult dance classes/performances this month. Here’s the schedule:
- West African dance with drums Saturday, Jan. 10, from 1 to 2 p.m.
- Salsa Monday, Jan. 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
- Hip-hop Saturday, Jan. 24, from 2 to 3 p.m.
- Contra dance Thursday, Jan. 29, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Find more information at pima.bibliocommons.com/events online.
Tucson Tuesday Laughter Yoga. Stretch, meditate, focus on your breath and have a good laugh. The club meets every Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m. at St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church, 4625 E. River Road, in room No. 30.
“We’re not claiming to cure cancer,” said Jana Martin, one of the leaders. “We don’t cure anything, but everyone can benefit from more oxygen to themselves, to breathing deeper, to releasing emotion.” Call 490-5500 for more information.