11 cheap ways to keep fit and lose weight
Hitting the gym demands a serious amount of dollar, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways of getting fit for less.Whether you’re a self confessed couch potato or certified fitness fanatic, there are loads of ways to get in shape quickly and cheaply.
To help you conserve your brainpower and instead concentrate on the perfect physique, we’ve compiled our 11 favourite ways to become a healthy bod (and healthy mind) in no time. On a budget of course.
11 budget ways to get fit
Try Workout DVDs
Trust us, exercise tapes have come a long way since the leotards and headbands of the 80s VHS. Every celebrity who’s worth their salt has a fitness DVD or two up their sleeve, or there’s always Jane Fonda if you’re feeling retro.
You can pick up cheap DVDs from 99p in most pound stores or if you’re looking for a specific workout, you’ll find a few for under a fiver on Amazon.
They’re great for keeping you motivated and there’s no need to get bored of the routine either; swap with your friends or simply head down to your local library where you’ll be able to rent a different DVD every week. Wicked, innit.
Join University sports teams
There’s no need to be an Olympic athlete to get involved with sports clubs at University, thank goodness.
You’ll find a whole host sports clubs from the bog standard (football) to the weird and wonderful (ultimate Frisbee) and the best part is the teeny price.
Because you’re students paying full whack on fees, society memberships are usually kept as low as possible, so you can get involved on a student budget.
Cut out junk food
A cupboard full of crisps and a Dominos delivered to your door might sound like the best option when you flop down after a hard day of nothingness, but it won’t be doing your waistline – or your wallet – any good.
Cut the takeaways, fatty foods and snacks and you’ll not only see the difference, but feel it too.
If you’re need of inspiration for some filling, healthy and quick meals, then make sure to check out our recipes section. Who knows, you could be the next Jamie Oliver (or not) too!
Use home exercise equipment
Always dreamed of a home gym with all the mod-cons? Now just take away all of the shiny, expensive bits and you can have your very own!
If you’re really going for it keep an eye on Freecycle, where you’ll sometimes find old gym equipment looking for a new home (yes, it’s really free).
Got a smartphone? Then get downloading on that app store right now! There’s loads of great, free apps out there which will help you track your progress, which you can even share on social media.
You’re much more likely to follow through with your plans if people are watching you.
You can also find free apps with diet plans, recipe tips, workouts and trackers to show you where you’re running. It’s like Christmas all year round.
A good place to start is to check the top free apps during January each year. There will be some good fitness apps in there. The Nike fitness app as well as the Calorie Counter app are great places to start.
Drink water, water everywhere!
You might be totally on top of this healthy eating business, but have you stopped to think what else you’re chucking down your throat?
Fizzy drinks, like Coke, Sprite or Fanta, along with highly sweetened or flavoured fruit things are only good for two things; rotting your teeth and piling on the pounds. They’re also blinking expensive.
Switch to plain old water and you’ll find it’s much cheaper, much more refreshing and much better for you. If you find it a bit dull at first try adding some chopped up fruit to infuse a bit of flavour.
Just getting outside of your house can be enough to gee up the fitness effort. Grab your running shoes or trainers and go for a jog around your local area – you might also be surprised at what you see.
If your running shoes aren’t quite feeling up to it, then grab those walking boots instead and set off on a hike. Every little helps.
Despite the what we said in the last tip, the great outdoors can be a massive deterrent to a generous bout of healthy exercise, especially when it’s too cold, too hot, too rainy or too dry (or any other excuse).
Don’t let that put you off though, there’s tonnes of stuff you can do in your house, right now, without buying a sausage.
From running up and down the stairs (yes that is a legitimate exercise) to squats, press ups and star jumps, you won’t have to step a foot out the door. You can find loads of tips and routines on the NHS website.
Play “Free” sports
There’s no denying that some sports can be costly and there’s plenty where you have to join a team to play. This isn’t the case for everything though. Hoorah!
Lots of councils and universities will offer some free facilities, whether it’s a field for a kick about or some tennis courts, so check out what’s out there.
If you live near the sea you can also check out if there are any tidal swimming pools, which are almost always freezing, but free.
Switch it up
Even the laziest of people can start to burn off the calories by making a few simple tweaks to their everyday routine.
Pop down to the shops for your weekly groceries instead of heading online and make sure to use a basket instead of a trolley. Walk to university instead of taking the bus, or just simply get off a stop or two before your destination. Make sure to take the stairs instead of the lift – it all counts ya know!
Last resort: Join the gym
Okay, we know, this one isn’t cheap, but we know some of you will ignore us and sign up anyway.
But if you are going to sign up to a gym, make sure to get the best deal you can. Haggle, try for student discount, take advantage of trials (like this one); do whatever you can to get the price down.
Don’t forget to question what you really need to sign up for too – will you really attend all of those classes as a weekly ritual?
Have we missed anything? Make sure to give us a shout!