I’ve put this post in ‘Life’, ‘Style’ and ‘Finance’ because it applies to all. You see, as part of my mission to save money, I decided about two years ago to shun gyms and try to keep fit for free. I was getting fed up with the fact that £65 was being sucked out of my bank account every month regardless of how often I went for a work out. £65 a MONTH! Over a year – because many gyms shamelessly lock you in for minimum contracts of about 12-18 months – this is £780! THINK what you could do with that money! Shall I help? See below:
A Mulberry handbag (Lily £750)!
Or a holiday!
No brainer, huh?
Anyway, by quitting the gym, I didn’t stop exercising, I just found ways to keep fit for free. Conveniently, most of my methods sit on my phone!
My main form of exercise is running. With the right music playlist and an interesting running route, it can do wonders for your mood, health and bum.
So if you are already a keen runner like me, I’d recommend this:
Map my run (on iOS and Android) – I have a heart rate monitor but I use this beauty of an app to track my distance, time and therefore speed. It updates you every mile on time and speed and you can play your music over the top which means the time flies when you’re running. Your runs can also be logged so that you can monitor your progress over time. And if you’re sadistic or a show off, you can also share your times online with complete strangers. Yeah right.
Now if you don’t really enjoy running because you find it quite boring, this is the app for you:
Zombies, Run! (on iOS and Android) If you like to add a little excitement to your run and don’t suffer too much from nightmares, try this. Open the app and start running. You’ll be running along and then suddenly you hear heavy breathing and weird animal like groaning. Then a shout that you must hurry up as the Zombies are coming! It will absolutely make you run faster and push you to get more from your workout but just be careful not to run though a wood or quiet street when you’re using it as it may feel a little too real and freak you out completely.
Circuits and mat work
If running is not for you or you want more of an all body personal training kind of experience, I recommend:
Nike Training App (on iOS and Android) This is a personal trainer in your phone. It’s brilliant. You pay pennies to download the app and then have access to hundreds of 30 and 45 minute workouts focused on tightening, toning or strengthening whether you’re a beginner or an enthusiast. You have access to demonstrations of each exercise so you can make sure you’re doing each step correctly and the trainer calls out words of encouragement throughout. I cannot recommend this app highly enough.
Sworkit (on iOS and Android) – This is great for people who blame a lack of free time for not exercising. With this app, you can do as little as 5 minute workouts of strength, cardio, yoga or stretching. It’s really good if you’re injured as you can focus on particular parts of the body.
If Yoga is more your bag, then you need to check out Yoga with Adriene. You will not find a nicer, cuter, more qualified yoga teacher anywhere on the web and her tutorials are addictive.
Moving away from technology, there are plenty of activities you can do with other people, for free!
You’ve heard of army bootcamps right? You head to the park, get shouted at and do circuits until all the fluid in your body has been sweated out. Amazing exercise but hard work. Well, British Military Fitness run free trials of their bootcamps – if you’re brave enough!
Alternatively, if you like a friendlier sort of exercise class, there’s a fairly new local council initiative whereby qualified fitness instructors teach exercise classes for free in parks! It looks like it’s currently just a London-based scheme at the moment but if it gets enough interest, it may go nationwide! Details can be found at Our Parks.
So, short of some kit and trainers, what more do you need??? Follow my tips to keep fit for free and start sweating AND saving!!