You might be fooled into thinking the only way you can stay fit is in the gym, but that isn’t the case at all. There are loads of purse-friendly ways to tone up or shed a few pounds, and some don’t even require leaving the house! We’ve put together a list of 8 great ways to keep fit on a budget this year. If you have any tips of your own, add them in the comments section, and lets all help each other.
1 Get Running
Parkrun organise free, weekly 5km timed runs. They are open to every ability, safe and easy to take part in. All you need to do is register on the Parkrun website, and search for your nearest run. If you’re not up for a 5k quite yet, then we recommend the NHS’ couch to 5k programme, which is based around three runs a week over nine weeks. It begins with running for just a few minutes at a time, but by the end you’ll be able to run for 30 minutes or more. It was designed to help someone in their 50s start running, so it’s very gentle and gradual.
2 Free Online Exercise Programmes
The NHS really is a great resource for exercise inspiration- it offers loads of free programmes on its website for people to download and have a go at. Our favourites are the gym-free workouts, a five-minute wake-up workout, six 10-minute workouts and even a 12-week fitness programme, so whether you want to do a little or a lot of exercise, there’s sure to be a workout for you on the website.
3 Browse YouTube
YouTube is filled with instructors uploading workout videos, including yoga, aerobics and even boot-camp style workouts. You name it, there’s probably a video for it. It can sometimes be hard to copy exercises from just written instructions or images, but it’s so much easier to make sure you’re performing an exercise properly when you can watch a professional demonstrating exactly how to do it.
A word of caution though; make sure you are watching videos from well-known fitness industry professionals, or the most watched/ highly rated videos. Copying the moves of someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing could cause you to perform moves incorrectly, which could lead to injury. The Body Coach TV is a great place to start for some easy to follow HIIT workouts.
4 Buy an Exercise DVD
When you think of exercise DVDs, images of women in leotards and legwarmers may come to mind, but we’ve come a long way since the 80s! Following an exercise DVD is a great way to get moving and burning some calories without even needing to leave the house- perfect for busy mums or people who don’t have time to squeeze in a visit to the gym.
You can pick up cheap workout DVDs from 99p in pound stores, or find a list of the best DVDs for 2018 here, all of which cost under £12. Alternatively you could head down to your local library, where you’ll be able to rent a different DVD every week.
5 Follow Fitness Influencers on Social Media
Instagram can be a great place to pick up free workout routines, tips and tricks to get you your dream body. There are loads of influencers that are happy to share great content with their followers but, like with YouTube, make sure you’re following the professionals. Alice Liveing (@aliceliveing) is a personal trainer with 3 best selling recipe books who shares loads of easy-to-copy home workouts every week. Joe Wicks (@thebodycoach) posts HIIT workouts and simple recipes for yummy food to gobble up after you’ve broken a sweat.
6 Download a Fitness App
If you have a smart phone, there are some great apps out there that can help you achieve your goals. Under Armour Record app covers almost everything, including fat loss, muscle gain, sports performance and sleep improvement. If a free app isn’t enough for you, unbelievably, a new app called Sweatcoin will actually pay you for the steps you take! Every 1,000 steps= 1 Sweatcoin, which can be spent in the app’s own online store on things like chocolate or even a pair trainers, so get walking! If you’re after a quick fix, 30 Day Fitness Challenge offers 30 day challenges for full-body, abs or glutes, but beware- they get more intense as the days go on!
7 Buy Multipurpose Exercise Equipment
Resistance bands are an amazingly versatile piece of kit, and a set of five costs just £8.99 on Amazon. Use them to make push ups and squats harder, use them for rowing, use them for anything! Here’s a list of 33 exercises you can do with resistance bands.
Exercise balls can be bought online for under £15, and can be incorporated into all sorts of work outs. Challenge your core by planking on the ball, or take your squats to the next level by resting the ball between your back and a wall.
Finally, Gumtree is a great place to hunt for pre-owned bargain home gym equipment.
8 Join a low-cost gym
Finally, if you really do feel like not having a gym membership is holding you back, there are more and more low-cost gyms popping up all over the country. Budget gyms such as PureGym and The Gym offer memberships from as little as £10.99 a month, with no contract. Most are open 24/7 , so you should be able to squeeze in a workout whatever your schedule.