Staying healthy can be expensive. Gym memberships can set you back quite a lot, and not all of us can afford it. During the summer months it’s not so much of a problem because you can get outside (park gyms are free!), but in winter, it might seem like there’s no way of getting any good exercise in. But that doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of low-cost or even free options for exercising. Here are some of the best ways that you can keep fit without breaking the bank.
Workout DVD’s and online programmes
You don’t need to pay for expensive sessions with a personal trainer to get a good, professionally led workout. There are thousands of different options out there in the form of workout dvds. Whether you’re looking for an intense workout, or something a bit more relaxed, you should be able to find something that suits you. There are plenty of second-hand ones available for pennies. eBay, second-hand stores, second-hand store apps, you have plenty of options! As long as you’ve got a good space somewhere in the house, you can do some exercise anytime that you like.
- One of the best workout DVD’s out there is the Insanity series, but it is not for the faint-hearted. It is a two-month workout programme that guarantees to get you in perfect shape through intense interval training.
- There are even a lot of free workout videos available online if you don’t want to spend anything at all. Hasfit offer plenty of free workouts on Youtube, so you don’t need to do the same workout day in, day out.
- Another programme that you know I recommend and even do at the moment is PIIT28. You can see my previous experience in this blog post, and you can get it here. The benefit of PIIT is that you don’t have to buy a DVD, everything is online. And you only exercise 28 minutes a day, for less than a month.
- Broga is a good example of a hard-core workout. Combining yoga, cardio and strength, it’s a really good challenge if you’re already somehow fit.
My progress with PIIT28 – You can get it here
It seems like there’s an app for everything these days, and fitness is no exception. There are hundreds of free exercise apps that can help you design workouts to do at home. There are some apps, like 7-minute workout, which are based on fitting a workout into your busy schedule, so there’s no excuse to skip your workouts. Most of these apps include diet planners as well, so if you are struggling with your eating plan, you can incorporate it into your new workout routine.
You could also look up workout celebrities online. They often post helpful tips, workouts and recipes that you can use yourself.
Use Home Exercise Equipment
If the workout DVD’s aren’t quite enough for you, you can get the gym experience at home for a lot less money. Using home gym equipment, you can do the exercise that you would normally do at the gym without having to pay out for an expensive membership. A punching bag is great for intensive cardio, and a rowing machine is good for overall muscle toning. A pull-up bar is a great piece of equipment if you don’t have that much space, all you need is a doorway to get going.
Exercise equipment can be expensive, but if you look on second-hand sites, you can get some for a reasonable price.
Try making use of the features that are already in the house. Running up and down the stairs is a brilliant way to get the heart racing. Replace expensive weights with anything you find around the house, tins of food are a good example.
Here are a few things that we own:
- An exercise bike
- Small dumbbells
- Adjustable weight dumbbells
- Yoga mat
- Yoga block and belt
- Stability ball for exercise, yoga and pilates
- Foam roller
Join a Sports Team
Team sports are a great way of getting some exercise and meeting new people. Having other people to exercise will also help with motivation. There are plenty of different sports to choose from, and although you might have to pay a small fee for training sessions, it will be much cheaper than a gym membership.
There are plenty of places that you can play sports for free. Public tennis courts are often free; you’ll just need to buy a racquet, which won’t cost you too much. If you don’t want to commit to playing with a team every week then finding free sports facilities might be best for you. That way you can do some casual exercise without being tied to playing every week.
Drinking water brings so many health benefits, yet most of us aren’t getting our recommended amounts. Doctors advise that we drink at least two litres of water every day. Getting your daily allowance of water will flush out your toxins, clear your skin boost your immune system and increase energy. Most importantly, drinking a good amount of water can inspire weight loss. Even if you don’t increase the amount of exercise that you do, you should still see results if you start drinking more water.
It can be difficult to keep track of how much water you’re drinking so get a water bottle and make a conscious effort to drink it all a few times throughout the day.
Change Your Routine
There are plenty of ways that you can get exercise into your day by making small changes to your routine. Journeys that you take regularly are one of the best. If you drive, consider whether you need to. Walking instead can help you burn calories, and if it’s a journey you take every day, it will soon add up. You could also consider getting a bicycle for longer journeys.
Other things you could try are going out to the shop to buy your groceries instead of ordering them online, and always take the stairs instead of the lift.
If you want to get started with an active commute, I have a full blog post about it.
Doing workout DVD’s at home alone can get a bit boring, and you might struggle to stay motivated. Finding a workout partner that you can invite round during your exercise sessions can really help. People tend to workout for longer periods when somebody else is with them, and you can also introduce a level of healthy competition to really push yourselves.
By making these simple changes, you can keep on top of your fitness routine and stay healthy without having to pay for an expensive gym membership.
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