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Save money on staying fit

Posted on 17 July 2020


These tips will help you stay in shape without breaking the bank.

YouTube workouts

YouTube has thousands of video workouts to follow along with at home. Choose from dance, HIIT, yoga, aerobics or strength training, and feel free to try out different channels until you find one you really enjoy.

There are plenty of options that don’t require any equipment or space. Best of all, everything from a 3-minute dance routine to a 30-minute full-body workout is available for free.


Running regularly will improve the health of your heart and lungs. It can also help you lose weight and has proven benefits for your mental health. Best of all, it’s completely free and easy to fit into your schedule. You don’t need fancy workout kit - any loose-fitting, lightweight clothes will do, along with supportive trainers, and a sports bra if applicable.

If you’re new to running, the free NHS Couch to 5k app is a great place to start. The app guides you through a mix of running and walking sessions to gradually build up your fitness and stamina so that even complete beginners will be able to run for 30 minutes within nine weeks.

Outdoor gyms

These give you all the benefits of a gym workout but without the cost.

Outdoor gyms (also known as trim trails, fitness trails or activity trails) are made up of simple pieces of exercise equipment, such as parallel bars, leapfrog blocks, inclined press-ups and balance beams that you can use to improve your strength and flexibility.

The gyms are mostly found in open recreation areas and parks, often near children’s playgrounds, so you can easily combine a workout in the fresh air with a walk or run in the park, or while your kids are playing.

You should be able to find a list of outdoor gyms in your area at your local council’s website.

Taster sessions

Now that indoor gyms, leisure centres and pools will be open to the public again from 25th July, why not sign up for a free trial? It will give you a chance to see if you enjoy using the facilities without the commitment of a full membership.

If you decide to sign up, check with your employer first to see if they offer discounted gym membership.

Incidental exercise

This means taking opportunities to increase your activity level over the course of a normal day. By moving more, you’ll improve your fitness and feel more positive about integrating exercise into your routine.

Some ideas:

  • Walk to the shops instead of driving
  • Gardening
  • Cleaning the house
  • Take the stairs not the lift
  • Get off the bus a few stops early or park the car further away
  • Take a brisk walk during lunch break

Cycle to work

Cycling to work is a great way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine without much extra effort. Let’s say you cycle for 30 minutes each way for 3 days a week – you’ve already overachieved the 2 hours and 30 minutes per week of moderate exercise the NHS recommends for health benefits in adults.

Still not convinced? We have an article here with more reasons to start cycling to work.

If you already have a bike, you’re good to go. If not, you can save money on a new bike or cycling equipment using your employer’s Cycle to Work scheme (if they have one in place).

Investing in your health and wellbeing doesn’t have the cost that some may think. The important thing is to commit to improving your fitness and following through by building a regular routine. To this end, use the tips above to find exercise that you enjoy doing, so you're more likely to stick with it.

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