Getting fit for less

We may be in the middle of summer, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until the new year to start those resolutions! Looking to get fit? Start now. In order to keep it up you need to find something you want to do – do you want to work out on your own, with a friend, or in a team? Whatever you want to do, there are lots of cost effective ways to get fit when you’re on a budget.

Firstly, the free ones. Obviously you can just go and run, and that will cost you nothing. Even if you don’t fancy doing that on your own, you can turn up to a Park Run on Saturday morning and run in a group for free – good motivation and a great way to measure your progress as each race is timed. If running’s not your thing, and it’s really not for everyone, outdoor gyms are also popping up in parks all over the country, so you can access free gym equipment. From the ones I’ve seen, they are quite basic, this is good if you’re just starting out, but bear in mind you can’t increase weight, resistance, etc.

Of course, you can get fit with no equipment at all. There are a huge number of workout classes and tips videos on YouTube, whether it’s HIIT, Pilates, or yoga, you’re bound to find something that inspires you to get off the sofa.

If you do want a gym membership, start by looking at places like The Gym and Pure Gym which offer low cost, contract free gym membership for around £20 a month. It comes with no frills and they can get pretty packed (especially in the New Year), but they have the equipment and changing rooms – what else do you really need? Once you get into a routine and find the best times for you, you’ll be flying. Plus, it will keep you focused on your workout rather than procrastinating in the sauna or hot tub.

A step up from the aforementioned are charity and council managed gyms, which usually offer a bit more in terms of facilities, lessons, and optional extras, but are still competitively priced. My exercise of choice is swimming and my local pool is run by DC Leisure Management which works in partnership with local authorities. With this, I get monthly swimming membership for around £20 a month, with the option to pay extra to access the sauna, steam room, etc. in the Health Suite. There are also those run by Better Leisure which focuses on leisure community spaces.

If classes are more your thing then look into class passes – like MoveGB – where you sign up to a monthly subscription and can mix and match your local classes. This gives you the option to try different kinds of classes without being tied into a gym membership or contract. Alternatively, there are online subscriptions where you can workout from the comfort of your own home. This is pretty similar to having a workout DVD, but if you use something like YogaGlo, they always add new classes and you can filter to find the best ones for your level or preferences.

Finally, you can join a team. Checkout websites like Player Wanted or Gumtree to find a team in your local area. Most have sign up fees and you’ll likely need to chip in for weekly training and match facilities, but this will likely work out to be the cheaper option, or at least the same as a monthly gym membership.

Originally posted on Mouthy Money.

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