Are you looking for ways to get fit right now? The turn of the year is always the time I re-evaluate where I am with my life goals. Getting and staying fit and healthy is always at the front of my mind, but I know I need to get back on the wagon with taking action towards these goals. After all, I like you possibly, have wobbly bits I do not want long term. So the question in my mind right now, is what ways I can get fit for free or alternatively very cheaply, without a gym membership that I will never use!
Here are my reminders to myself of what I have done in the past, that work for me, and also new inspiration for getting fit at home and outside that I am going to try. After all, we need to mix things up, to achieve our goals over time.
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1. Start running
To get in shape without the gym, I have found running one of the best things I’ve ever started. As I improved, by using the couch to 5k app, I began to feel better in myself. Then the weight started to shift. From running, altogether, I shifted over 10k. The beauty of the app is that it doesn’t expect you to run instantly. It builds you up to running gradually, by giving you intervals where you rest, by fast walking in between the runs.
I’ve never looked back. What was so surprising was the boost to my mental health that this gave me – my mood would lift completely. If I felt tired, it had disappeared after my run. Initially this didn’t happen, by the way, because you do feel intensely tired with the new regime. Stick it out and it’s not long before you start to feel the benefits of being fitter and healthier. I use the free app Runkeeper now, to track my runs – it’s useful because I can see my routes, record the amount of miles my trainers have completed and see how many calories I have burnt relative to my weight at the time.
Nowadays, to balance my job and blogging, I have time on a Sunday, and I run for 4 miles. The rest of the week Mr Budget and I get out walking. Read here to find out how much walking and others have helped us cut our personal spending and saved us a small fortune. Find out how I have saved money long term, by buying quality running equipment here.
2. Cycle to Work
One way to get fit and healthy is to cycle to work. When I had a job that meant I could do this, I took full advantage of selling one car to do this. It made me feel much better, and meant it was necessary to exercise 10 times a week, before my run. We saved £250 a month on car costs also. I recommend you buy reflective kit and also a good waterproof jacket, for wet winter days, otherwise you won’t look professional at work. My bike was second hand, from Ebay and cost all of £40.
If, in your country, you have to cycle on the road, make sure you invest in a good helmet – believe me, there can be aggressive drivers out there, so better safe every time. That said, I used to love being out in the fresh air every day, particularly in summer – what better way of combining exercise with the commute?
3. Walk as Many Places as You Can
The advice at the moment is that we need to do 10,000 steps a day but these steps need to be brisk walking, so you are giving your heart a workout. My gear fit2 is brilliant because it tracks my steps all day, without having my phone in my pocket. (A no-no in my day job). Read more about why this a genius buy in the long run.
The alternative, if you just want a quick solution, is just to download a free step tracker for your phone. S Health by Samsung is a great app – recently, even if you don’t have a Samsung, this app has become available. I used to use it when I had the Samsung S3 mini, and I was really pleased to be able to start using it again.
4. Walking Related Ideas
To get fit fast by walking, here are some creative ideas to consider:
- Get an earlier bus, and then walk the rest of the way. This would boost your steps quite considerably.
- Walk into town instead of taking the car – carry home as much shopping as you can.
- Take a walk in the evening – build an extra part of the walk, somewhere in your are you want to explore. You will be so busy being nosey, that you will forget you are walking.
- Have an end goal in mind – maybe you have a coffee shop 2 miles away. Walk there, have a coffee, walk back.
- Research what beginner walks are going on in your area – make some new friends while you are at it.
- Walk your dog – they will also become fitter and healthier too. Make it about the dog’s health, if you are struggling with motivating yourself to walk.
5.Trim trail it
One way of getting fit without a gym membership, would be to get active on your local trim trail. A lot of areas now have them in parks and green areas. They usually consist of exercise machines that are outdoor and also balance trails or small assault courses. You could design your own workout for these and build up as time goes on.
The British Heart Foundation has some cool further ideas for getting fit outdoors.
Getting fit fast could be achieved by combining a bit of everything. Why not run around and play tig with your children in the park? Or at home? They will appreciate you being involved too and of course this kind of fun is free too – it won’t do your budget any harm.
They could take their bikes to the park, while you run alongside them with the dog.
7. Mall walking
Take a trip to the local mall – chances are, if you spend a couple of hours there, even just walking, you will have covered a good distance! All for free!
8. Find free swimming
Lots of local authorities are really keen for us to become more active. In the UK, this means that free swimming sessions are available. Search on your local area.
The NHS state that: ‘Regular swimming can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost your mood and keep your weight under control’.
They recommend that one 30 minute medium to vigorous session of swimming counts towards your weekly activity. Maybe you could mix it up by taking the kids for a fun session, do some length swimming and going for a swimming session with a friend of a similar ability.
You could even join your local swimming club. Click on this link to find your local club.
9. Conservation Projects
One way to get fit and move around more without realising it can be to take part in community projects. Your local council will have information on what these are. In my local area, for example, the community volunteers have helped to cut and move a destructive weed from the local river valley. In the local park, they help tidy it up and renovate the benches. There is something suitable for everyone, but the great thing is that they all involve something active.
This combines getting fit with helping others. For example you register your details, then choose options. One option is to run to visit a lonely elderly person. Spend time with them and then run back. Other options include: running as a group, then helping out say shifting earth for a community group, then run back. What a great way to give back to the community as well as getting in shape! Click here for further information.
Ways to Get Fit at Home
1. Exercise DVDs with Friends
Getting fit at home can be a real laugh if you try this! I have done this The chances are one of your friends has got an exercise DVD. It is fantastic – you will end up laughing more than you have in years and groan together as you power through the work outs. We used to use it as a good excuse for a catch up over a cup of tea after we had worked out! After 2 or 3 weeks we noticed weight loss, then went shopping for one new piece for our wardrobes as a reward! Fab!
We love the Ministry of Sound DVD workouts.
2. Use Youtube
There are so many fitness videos out there now that you can do whenever you have time, for absolutely free. The great thing is, you can replay them and learn the moves in your own time.
Tai Chi on Youtube is also worth a try, because you can do this to build flexibility and tone. It’s also great if you are not allowed to do weight-bearing activities, or you need to take your time back on the road to fitness.
Another idea would be Sweatybetty, as they offer free workout classes in store and also have loads of instructional videos for all abilities online.
Pin me for later!
3. Household Jobs
Throw yourself into household chores. You will be surprised at how toning these can be. Instead of mopping the kitchen floors, do it the old fashioned way of cleaning it with a cloth (although microfibre and white vinegar is amazing)
Vacuuming is superb for raising the heart rate, as is general cleaning.
4. Use the Stairs
Wherever you go, whether at home or anywhere else – use the stairs. What better way of getting fit and healthy for free? It could be that you live on the 13th floor of a block of flats, or that your office is on the 4th floor. Can you imagine how much more exercise you could potentially be doing, for the sake of an extra 5-10 minutes on your day?
If you are at home all day, maybe you could use the upstairs bathroom instead, or take the ironing pile up in stages, rather than just in one go. So you are doing more trips up and down stairs. Stay
Boxers have always incorporated skipping into their routines – it is such a good cardiovascular workout and relatively cheap to set up. A good rope won’t cost you a fortune and some come with free ebooks to guide you through to achieving fitness. Find out more how a jump rope could help you get fit fast. Stay At Home Mum has some more awesome ideas for getting fit at home.
So all that needs to happen for me now, is to get off my butt, bin the chocolates and get started. Has this inspired you to try some of the simple to action and cheap ideas here? Have you any inspiration for getting fit that I can use, to motivate myself long-term? Do comment, so we all can share your inspirations too!