One of the biggest ways people waste money is through unused gym memberships. The process often goes something like this:
- Eat/Drink like crazy over Christmas
- Detox in January
- Above Detox will involve joining a gym
- Start working on summer body
- Lose motivation to go to the gym (around March time)
- Go on holiday with a spring body (something between the post-Christmas body and summer body you envisaged).
The fitness world knows this process all too well so gyms come out with the enticing offers in January. They know you will sign up with that post-Christmas guilt only to stop going WITHOUT CANCELLING YOUR MEMBERSHIP. Talk about giving away money!
If you want to keep fit without the commitment of a gym membership, here are some ideas that won’t hurt your pocket…
I need as few obstacles between myself and working out as possible otherwise it’s unlikely to happen. With Youtube I can literally roll out of bed, cast the relevant device to my TV and get cracking. There are so many different workout vids that suit various lifestyles that you’re bound to find something that works for you. Struggling for time? Do a quick 5 or 10 minute workout. Whatever you’re looking for, you are bound to find something suitable here.
5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon or even just a run around the block – whichever distance you choose, it’s an easy way to get active. Grab a good pair of running shoes and comfortable clothes and you’re off.
If doing an arranged run with others appeals more than running round your local area on your own check out Parkrun. They host free, timed 5k runs at parks up and down the country.
I’ve noticed more and more parks with outdoor gym equipment such as cross trainers and spinning bikes. If your local park isn’t lucky to have such equipment you can guarantee they’ll be a sports court or pitch of some kind.
There’s nothing quite like a long walk. Not only is it great physically but I find it always helps to clear your mind, particularly if you get out of the city. If you don’t want to venture out, there are many dedicated city walking paths.
The good old fashioned exercise video (or DVD as is more likely), often pushed by your favourite celebrity. The one-off cost will be cheaper than your gym membership but if you really want to save check stocks at your local library.
Watching TV according to its schedule is fast becoming old fashioned. More of us have services such as Netflix to watch what we want when we want. Did you know that there are tons of fitness programmes on Netflix? So in addition to “Netflix and chill” there’s the option to “Netflix and workout”.
Walk Local Errands
Instead of jumping in the car for everything, make a commitment to walk local errands. Not only will you help the environment and save on petrol costs, you’ll make your life less sedentary. If you’re an office worker odds are you spend the bulk of you time sat down so a little more walking won’t hurt!
Join a Sports Team
Prefer to exercise in a team setting? This could be the option for you. Netball, hockey, football whichever takes your fancy. You’ll be getting fit and socialising at the same time.
With more and more dedicated cycle lanes appearing on roads it’s getting easier to get on your bike in the city. If you can commute to work this way, even better, you’ll be getting regular exercise and saving on one of the more significant monthly costs.
Free outdoor classes
You can sign up for free exercise classes at parks up and down the country. If you fancy Pilates, yoga, bootcamp-style workouts and don’t mind being exposed to the elements, this could be for you. Organisers such as Park Lives and Our Parks often have classes for adults and children so the whole family can get involved.
So there you have it. If you can’t do without the gym be sure to make the most of free day passes or trials. Avoid minimum term gym contracts (e.g. 12 months membership), these days it’s so easy to find rolling one month memberships!
How do you choose to workout? Do you have any other alternatives to gym membership? Please comment and share.