Is getting in shape at the top of your resolutions, like, every week? Joining a gym can be expensive, so if the festive season has left a dint in your budget, here are a few ways to reach your goals without the big fees. We all want to be fit and healthy and to look and feel good. But now that activewear is fashionable it costs a bomb, and gym memberships are just as pricey. The good news is that with a bit of creativity and know-how, it’s easier than ever to get fit without busting your budget.
The Internet is a gold mine of >free exercise programs, with many options to suit whatever gym equipment you have or the type of exercise you are most interested in. And not incidentally, streaming classes over the net and straight into your home is tipped to be a big fitness trend in 2016 - they do cost, but at prices starting at around $10 a month, they're a lot less than a gym membership.
There are tons of free exercise and fitness programs available for Apple or Android, as well as a wide range of nutrition trackers and healthy eating apps. Just download and go.
Look for ways to be more active in your everyday life. Start walking to the shops instead of driving, get out in the garden, crank up the music and dance as you clean the house, or join your kids in a game of chasey. If you’ve got spare time, you could pick up a paper round for your community newspaper and earn a little extra cash while getting the recommended 10,000 steps a day.
Equipment can come cheap if you keep it simple, or know how to shop. If hand weights, Pilates mats or resistance bands are your weapon of choice, discount stores have good quality, low-cost options. If you’re after something a little more sophisticated, or even a bicycle, check out what’s on offer at second-hand retailers.
Running and walking is one of the cheapest ways to get fit – all you need is a good pair of shoes and you’re good to go. Hit your local hilly spots for added intensity, or swing past and do some chin-ups at the free fitness equipment you can often find at parks and other outdoor public spaces.
Whether you buy yourself a cheap block of pool passes or exercise for free at the beach, swimming is great for cardiovascular fitness and works all the major muscle groups. Swimming at the beach has an added benefit: walking at a fast pace through the sand is more physically demanding than walking on the road, and will help build those leg muscles.
From aerobics to dancing and Pilates, your local library will have a range of fitness DVDs for you to borrow. You can change it up every couple of weeks and it won't cost you a cent. While you’re there, check out recipe books bursting with healthy meal ideas, and exercise books for additional inspiration.
Got friends with similar goals? Buddy up on a regular walking session to push each other harder and stay motivated. If you’ve both got exercise equipment you’re bored of, try swapping for a few weeks.
If you’re not sure whether joining a gym is your best option or worth the investment, take advantage of free trial periods. Even if they are not advertising any offers, it is worth asking if you can attend for free gym pass or two, so you can check out the facilities and make sure you’ll get your money’s worth.
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