Be body positive without going cash negative: Free summer workouts you can do today

We don't have a muscle beach in NYC, but any beach can be a muscle beach with these workout tips.

Maybe your New Year’s resolution didn’t work out as planned. Maybe the mild winter didn’t mean you exercised more. And maybe last year’s swimsuit is looking like one of those strings people wrap around ham before roasting it.

If running to catch the G is no longer cutting it and you’ve exhausted the city’s free gym trials, never fear; we’ve put together a guide to quintessential workouts for the busy brokester that’ll help quickly you get your beach body (whatever that means for you; we’re body positive here, and also free-stuff positive!) with still plenty of time to enjoy the summer. And if our all-day workout is just too rigorous for you, scroll on down to the bottom for suggested free activities to get in shape.

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AM Ab workout

Direct your morning commute rage away from the mariachi band and harness it for an early workout. Practice one-legged balance when standing on the train (make sure there’s a stranger nearby you can crash into if you fall), or do some simple reps of leg lifts and abdominal circles if you score an early morning seat.

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Lunchtime lunges

Why walk like a normal person when you can look like a complete weirdo? Lunge across the office, to the printer, on your lunchbreak. For that extra smack of crazy, add in some arm circles with each lunge. Your biceps, triceps, and thighs will thank you.

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Evening exercises

It’s hard to find time to squeeze in workouts between outdoor summer flicks and day trips to the beach. Still instead of sending your laundry off to be washed for you, head on over to Sunshine Laundromat for pinball and some light lifting.

Apart from lugging the (let’s face it) overstuffed Santa sack of stink to your laundromat, you can use your laundry bag instead of an exercise ball! Knock out side squats, tricep dips, shoulder curls and even plank pose for a full-body workout before moving clothes from the washer to the dryer. Then bring your newly washed clothing home on your sweat-soaked back.

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Nighttime Cardio

Necessity is the mother of all weight loss. Whether you got off at the wrong subway stop, took a wrong turn in a new neighborhood, or relied too heavily on Google maps on your now dead phone, getting lost is a great excuse to work on your interval training. You’ll find you’ve never run so fast than in an unfamiliar neighborhood after last call. When you finally do make it home, keep the momentum going by doing stair runs until you collapse.


True, this daily workout routine is rigorous. For those of you who can’t commit, there are plenty of other options to get in shape for free, without making a workout feel like work.

Volunteering is a great way to get outside and get fit. Give back to your city and look good doing it. You can even get paid to teach kiddos to bike.

Plus, North Brooklyn Boat Club is one of many organizations that offers free kayaking on weekends. Just get there early to secure your spot.

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And If all else fails, you can even join the alliance of New York Jedi to be as ripped as that dancing red sith.

Don’t let yourself become Jabba the Hut. Do the Brokelyn workout and pinch pennies between your rippling muscles instead. Summer’s calling.


Originally Posted on 6/22 in Brokelyn Magazine.

Be body positive without going cash negative: Free summer workouts you can do today

Super Day

After the second day of arriving at work only to notice the resurgence of an insidious eye twitch, I’ve concluded that the cause is one of two things:

  1. My frustration at the ceaselessly growing pile of unimportant and uninspired work has finally manifested physically in what will be the closest I ever come to a sexy wink.
  2. My office building is leaking some sort of radioactive gas, and this twitch is the first sign.

Obviously, I’m leaning toward option two, which only means one thing: super powers for the whole office staff.

Just like Ant-Man, the Micro-Manager is able to shrink to microscopic sizes, but still retains the annoying tendencies of a full-sized human! She can also jump incredible lengths and to various conclusions without anything to support her.

The Invisible Man
This CEO’s invisibility almost works too well. The Invisible Man can never be found when you need him for a project, a consultation, or even to answer a quick question. Good luck finding him on payday.

The Invisible Girl
She does all the work of The Invisible Man, but no one seems to notice her. Sidenote: she also makes just 77% of The Invisible Man’s salary.

Super(Gross) Man
He loves to give shoulder massages, and comment on how nice you look in that new blouse. He uses his x-ray vision for perving instead of for good, and likes to boast how he can guess women’s bra sizes. He is married with a four-month-old at home.

You guessed it. Be careful what you confide in this one, because after reapplying her mauve lipstick, she’s turned around and told the whole office about The Flash’s UTI and Aquagirl’s relationship problems.

On days like today, I have to hope for the power of teleportation, because not much else will help me get through the countdown to six o’clock.

Super Day

How to Have a Grownup Job

By 9:31 this morning, I had already completed all necessary tasks for my day at work. Fueled by too much caffeine and with what feels like endless hours ahead of me, today is much like every other day. This is the kind of job where working quickly and efficiently does not get you praise, but is rewarded with annoyance at having to find another task for you to complete.

This kind of routine does not sync well with my Mary Tyler Moore, go-getter, lead-by-example and don’t-quit-until-the-job-is-done attitude. But hey-it’s Thursday, which means it’s almost Friday, which means I’ve been mentally checked out since 1:30 on Wednesday.

And while—let’s be honest—I’d like to be job-hunting right now, I respect my employer just enough to not search for new jobs while on the clock, despite the wonders of incognito mode. And while some days are more productive than others, it’s clear that today will not be a productive day. Below then, is my day’s itinerary, adaptable to your workday:

9 a.m.-Arrive at work, make the perfect morning cup of tea, open company email account, respond accordingly.

9:30 a.m.-Learn that supervisor has started on all of your work today, because of an impending deadline. Your position (at least for today) is redundant. Rather than worry about job security for your middleman position, stream the latest Moth podcast, because who doesn’t like weeping at work about a widow’s struggle to take off her wedding ring? Leave you email open, and occasionally click on things—boy, do you look professional and busy.

10:30 a.m.-Now that your friends who don’t work in offices are awake, begin a frenzy of text conversations. Be prepared for your deskmate to be annoyed by the constant bzzz bzzz of your phone. But playing Kill, Fuck, Marry with characters from Parks and Rec is an integral part of your job, so he’ll just have to deal.

11 a.m.-Is it seriously not even noon yet?

11:01 a.m.-Switch over to streaming NPR and find out what’s going on tonight on your favorite websites. Have a quick cigarette with a coworker, not because you want one, but because if you’re going to die at this desk one day, at least a cigarette will shave a few minutes off your perspective lifespan.

11:30 a.m.-An impromptu meeting reminds you that this job might be kind of dull, but it is teaching you some new things, and hey-you’re actually pretty good at this stuff. Savor this moment-you will need it to propel you through the rest of the day.

12:15 p.m.-Lunch. Go for a bracing walk in the cold, stomp your feet, and thank whoever you worship that you don’t have to smell your deskmate’s tunafish sandwich today.

1 p.m.-He decides to eat the sandwich now? And who puts mustard and garlic on tunafish? At least eat it in the breakroom, man. Spend the next thirty minutes working at breakneck speed to make it look like you’ve been working at a snail’s pace all day. Color-coordinate your shit. Bosses love that.

1:30 pm-Scheduled conference call to discuss internal progress in the department. Dazzle them with your wit and productivity, and find yourself rewarded with one task to accomplish if you’re lucky.

2:30-2:35 p.m.-Call ended, and task completed.

2:36 p.m.-Suddenly, you are inundated with emails, phone calls, and questions. It’s as if everyone collectively decided to start working at the same time. Finally, a flurry of productivity that makes you feel like this day isn’t wasted.

3 p.m.-Just as quickly as it began, the stream of work ends. Shoot a quick email to your boss, alerting her to the fact that you’ll be leaving early to do some recon on our competitors.

3:01 p.m.-Slip out like a thief in the night—better still, slip out like a one-night stand in the wee hours of the morning. Celebrate your early freedom with an early happy hour.

**Originally published on on February 19, 2015**

How to Have a Grownup Job