We all know how important it is to get fit. According to the NHS, people who exercise regularly reduce their risk of illnesses and health problems like diabetes, cancer, depression, and heart disease.
Improving your fitness level can help you to feel stronger and healthier, and helps you to maintain independence by keeping your body in an optimal condition. But how can you get fit without spending a fortune on kit, memberships, or classes? It’s easier than you think! Here’s how.
Go running for free
Running is great for fitness. It’s a cardio exercise that gets your blood pumping and your muscles moving. Best of all, running is completely free! All you need to get started is your body.
Running doesn’t just offer health benefits; it also lets you enjoy fresh air and your surroundings. You can spend your run listening to new music, to podcasts, or just letting your mind wander. Many people find running an excellent way to de-stress and work out problems.
You don’t need any special kit to start running, although a good pair of trainers is usually a solid investment for regular joggers. Trainers don’t need to cost an arm and a leg, though. Find a good deal and aim for a pair that will last long-term.
Work out at home
It’s easier than ever to exercise at home. Avoid the cost of a gym membership with a workout app and DIY equipment.
There are a bunch of free workout apps available, like Nike Training Club and Workout Trainer. These apps offer a wide range of exercises designed to target specific goals, like toning up or losing weight, and areas of the body, like arms or abs. With most apps, you don’t need any special equipment - just enough space to move around.
It’s easier than ever to exercise at home
If you need some basic kit, though, look no further than your cupboards! Two big water bottles work excellently as weights. Just fill them up with water or rice, adjusting the amount to increase or decrease the weight. Alternatively, use household items like cans, milk bottles, or bags of flour.
You can also DIY equipment. A pull-up bar only takes some old pipe and electrical tape! Get creative and transform your living room into a home gym.
Yoga offers many physical and mental health benefits, like a strong core, excellent co-ordination, and a calm mind. It’s also a type of exercise that you can do anywhere. The only equipment you need is your body!
YouTube channels like Yoga With Adriene offer a variety of routines so you can find yoga that works for you. Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, there’s a yoga routine you can follow.
Some apps also offer free yoga routines, like Down Dog. Use these services to practise yoga wherever you feel comfortable, whether it’s your living room or on a mountaintop!
Eat healthy for less
Fitness isn’t just about exercise, of course. You also need to consider your diet. The best way to eat healthy is to cook your own meals and make snacks at home. This way, you know exactly what you’re putting into your body and you take control of your diet.
There are loads of online resources out there designed to help you get cooking without spending a ton of money.
The best way to eat healthy is to cook your own meals
By stocking up on cupboard staples and frozen food, you avoid wasting money on your weekly shop, and you make your nosh go further.
Plus, it’s usually much cheaper to make your own food than to eat out or rely on ready-made meals. Multiply a recipe to feed a family, or to prepare meals for the week ahead. And search online for free nutritional advice - like having your own personal trainer!
Break unhealthy habits
Getting fit isn’t just about starting new routines, it’s also about stopping some of your old ones! End the bad habits like smoking, excessive drinking, and snacking on junk food. Not only will it improve your health, it’ll save you a ton of money!
Smoking and excessive drinking also damage the immune system so people with these habits are likely to spend more money each year on medicine, sick days, and other related costs.
The cost of junk food also adds up. Junk food costs £3 per kilogram compared to healthier food which costs less than £2 per kilogram. Junk food doesn’t have high nutritional value, either, so you end up eating more, making it worse value for money.
Shop around for cheap deals
You could even go halves on the cost of equipment, if you find a driven workout buddy. Having a workout partner can really spur us on because we’re more likely to meet our goals when we’re held accountable. Sharing equipment can be a great way to save money, too.
A workout buddy can really spur you on
Many people find it motivating to have a space dedicated to exercise. If this sounds like you, you might prefer working out at the gym. Whilst gym memberships are often pricey, there are some cheaper options out there. Check to see if your preferred gym includes classes in the monthly cost, as this could save you lots of money in the long run.
Shop around for introductory deals if this is your first gym membership. And if you’ve got a workout buddy, you could even get a discounted joint membership at some gyms.
Getting fit doesn’t have to be a chore, or a strain on your back pocket. With a bit of research and creativity, you can have a fun, affordable exercise routine that makes you happier and healthier every day!
How does your exercise routine measure up? Let us know in the comments how you keep fit while keeping costs down.