If one of your 2017 resolutions is to get fit and healthy, you’ve come to the right place. Being more active is brilliant for your mind and body. What’s more, it can be a whole load of fun to boot. There’s just one tiny problem – getting fit can be seriously pricey. If you join a gym, it can cost you around £30 per month. That’s money that most of us just don’t have to burn! Don’t worry. There is an alternative. Here are some free ways to get fit!
1. Download a free running podcast
Rather than paying a hefty gym subscription, getting into running is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy. The only problem is that most people don’t even know where to start when it comes to running. Spoiler: If you head out and try to do a 5K run when you’ve never so much as jogged before, it’s gonna end in disaster. You’re either going to pull something or wear yourself out so much that you’ll swear off exercise for the next six months. Neither of those outcomes is ideal.
So, what should you do instead? Well, luckily, the NHS has just the thing for you. Their ‘Couch to 5K’ program will help you along the way in no time at all. You can download their free podcast on the NHS site. The podcast will give you step-by-step instructions to get you started. Remember, you can absolutely take things at your own pace.
Download: Couch to 5K
2. Watch fitness videos on YouTube
YouTube is not all about cats and people falling off skateboards, you know? There’s a whole side to the site that’s purely dedicated to fitness and working out. Instead of going to a class each week (and likely paying through the nose for it), you might like this handy little idea instead. First of all, you should decide what type of exercise you want to tackle. Needless to say, there’s just about everything and anything online, and so you should have a clear idea of what you want.
Once you’ve decided whether you want to do aerobics or yoga, it’s time to get started. Many fitness YouTubers actually bring out new classes every week, which means that you can follow their plan on a weekly basis. And, if that’s not enough for you, you can go through their old videos for inspiration. Simply subscribe to their channel and you’ll get a notification each time they publish a new routine.
3. Use an outdoor gym
If you happen to live near a park, you might want to head for a walk and see if they have one of these beauties. You see, parks all around the UK are home to some of the best outdoor gyms ever. The best part is that these gyms are 100% free to use. You’ve probably walked past these things before and had no idea what they were. Yes, they do look like a rather odd kids’ playground, but don’t let that fool you. These things actually have some great equipment that you can just rock up and use whenever you need to do so. From cross-trainers to bikes, you’re sure to find just about everything you need.
Find an outdoor gym: The Great Outdoor Gym Company
4. Join a local sports team
Obviously, this is an activity that won’t always be free as sometimes clubs will have you pay a weekly, monthly, or annual subscription. If you look around at different teams, though, you should be able to find one that’s free to join. At first, you may only be able to train with the team. After all, you really do need to prove that you have what it takes to play for them. Either way, it doesn’t really matter since this is a great social activity which will get you fit and healthy in the process.
Of course, there are loads of community teams out there that you may wish to join. It’s worth looking on Gumtree or checking out community boards in your local church or supermarket. Once you find a team that suits your skill level, you should find that it’s easy to keep up a regular routine of training and playing games.
Find a team: Player Wanted
5. Walk to work or university
This one may sound obvious, and yet few people actually bother to do it. If you get the bus or even drive to work, it might be time for a quick change. Walking to work is an excellent way to start the day since it gets your blood pumping before you officially start your day. That means that you will be full of energy by the time you get to the office (or the library or the lecture!). Before you start, map out the quickest route using Google Maps. That way, you will roughly know how long it will take you to get there.
If you don’t want to walk alone, why not ask your colleagues if they want to meet you along the way? You could start a morning walking group among your friends so that you all get into the habit of ditching the bus for a change. This is a small lifestyle change which really will make a massive difference to your health.
6. Try a 7 Minute Workout
What holds many people back from starting to exercise is the idea that you need to spend an hour or so working out every single time. Well, that’s not always exactly the case. You can get fit at a slow and steady rate by doing just a little every day. The 7 Minute Workout is a brilliant way to introduce yourself to the world of working out without things being too intense. Each day, you just have to take on a workout that lasts… you guessed it… just seven minutes. You can add your own music from iTunes to the app so that you exercise along to your fave tunes. Nothing could be easier.
Download: The 7 Minute Workout
7. Take advantage of free trials at gyms
When the new year comes around, gyms around the country will be doing their very best to try and entice us to join them. January is a massive season for gyms, which means that they will be really going for it. Many companies actually offer free trial days for non-members which means that you can have an entire day at the gym for absolutely nothing! You should watch out for promotions online and see what you can find. (Warning: Once you’ve signed up for a trial, you will likely get endless emails offering you a gym membership. Just unsubscribe!)
Plus, if you have a friend who already attends the gym, they might be able to help you out. Many gyms, including Virgin, offer a free day pass to their existing members so that they can bring a friend. If you want to mooch off your gym-loving pal, ask them to take you as their plus one.
Get a trail pass here: Anytime Fitness
8. Join the Fitocracy
New feature for Fitocracy on iPhone! During Playback mode, you can tap on the Music button to bring up a list of Spotify workout playlists we created especially for you. Tapping on the playlist opens it up directly in Spotify. Get the latest update and give it a try! #fitocracy #fitness #health #gym #motivation #music #fitnessmotivation #fitfluential #fitfam
We’ve all been there. On 1st January, you start out with the very best of intentions. You promise yourself you’ll go jogging every day, cut out the junk food, and generally be a healthier person than you were last year. Then, something happens. You blink and suddenly it’s 3rd January and you’re hauled up on the sofa eating pizza again. How did this happen?! Well, the problem there would be a lack of motivation.
If you want to keep yourself on track, the Fitocracy app might just be the way forward. Basically, the app helps you monitor your progress and set yourself goals. You get rewards every time you log a new activity, which means that it’s much easier to stick with it. (Note: You can pay for a trainer version of the app, but the free one is just as good!)
9. Snag some free home gym equipment
All too often, people buy themselves gym equipment (like bikes or running machines) and then never, ever use them! In the end, these things just end up taking up valuable space in the person’s home and they get sick and tired of them. So, what do they do? Well, sometimes, you will find that they will give the stuff away for free! (We know it sounds crazy, but on odd occasions, this really does happen!)
What you need to do is keep an eye out for free equipment that you can pick up and take home with you. Once you have a fitness bike or the like in your home, staying healthy and active will be easier than ever. Keep an eye on Gumtree and sites like Freecycle where you might be able to bag a freebie.
10. Become a dog walker
This one is basically perfect for all the dog lovers out there. Here’s a way to make a little cash while also getting fit. Bonus! Basically, all you need to do is advertise your dog-walking services online. There are loads of people out there who have pups but simply don’t have the time to take care of them as they should. If you have some free time in the evening or at the weekend, you might want to take up this fun hobby.