Ditch the gym – how to keep fit for free

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:

TWO pairs of Jimmy Choos (Romy 85 Pumps £425 and Miami trainers £350) and CHANGE!

jimmychootrainers

 

A Mulberry handbag (Lily £750)!

MULBERRY

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!

Running

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:

mapmyrunMap 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:

zombiesrunZombies, 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 clubNike 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.

510QAa9l1+LSworkit (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.

Yoga

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.

Team activities

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!!

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38 Comments

  1. July 25, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    Ahahahaha! The Zombie Run app sounds hilarious! I am SO trying that on my next run!! Also – thanks for the yoga app recommendation. I need some more yoga in my life! 🙂

  2. July 26, 2016 / 10:05 am

    I’ve been meaning to get back into running, but have only done it once lately. I used to have an expensive gym membership when I was single, but didn’t even use it much only because I hardly had any extra time!

  3. July 26, 2016 / 10:11 am

    Zombies, Run! Sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for that one. I use Sworkit, I also do a lot of kettlebell training also. I had the same idea with you about the gym unless you go regularly for your monies worth it feels like you’re wasting money.

  4. hannah
    July 26, 2016 / 10:25 am

    I love Jimmy Choo. A few years back I treated myself to a nice £360 pair of Jimmy’s x

  5. July 26, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    This post was just for me. I always tell myself I’ll get myself into a gym routine but I NEVER DO! Every year its the same resolution and every year it never happens!

    http://www.shewillneverlose.com

  6. July 26, 2016 / 3:15 pm

    Oh I do love that Mulberry Lily handbag, the price is just preventing me from having it ha x

  7. July 26, 2016 / 3:59 pm

    I have been wanting to try yoga for ages! Might give it a go after the summer ends.

    Ashleigh x

    http://www.beingashleigh.com – UK fashion, lifestyle and travel blog

  8. July 26, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    Loved this! I’ve just stared running coz the gym just seems to expensive! Great tips!

  9. July 26, 2016 / 6:08 pm

    We cancelled our gym memberships last month and still getting some great workouts done. There are so many great apps out there.

  10. July 26, 2016 / 6:13 pm

    Really wish I could run. I am about to start doing yoga at home to try and get a bit fitter.

  11. July 26, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    You’re right about how much money it costs to go to the gym, I pay £37 a month which isn’t as bad esp as I get access to a pool x

  12. July 26, 2016 / 8:53 pm

    My gym is actually super affordable (it’s £28.50 for six weeks!) but I still love these ideas, I’ve been running more lately while the weather is good and it’s so nice seeing my fitness improve! I love Blogilates too, Cassey has some amazing workouts and they’re a lot tougher than you might think!

  13. July 26, 2016 / 11:41 pm

    These are great ideas. Gym memberships can definitely be pricey. Running will always be an option!

  14. July 27, 2016 / 10:14 am

    There are so many exercises you can enjoy for free – lack of money really isn’t an excuse is it x

  15. July 27, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    I enjoy team activities and we are organising sports days on the green in the holidays

  16. July 27, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    I am lucky to have a really good deal with my gym, a no contract for only £25 a month. I do go however because I enjoy taking part in class activities, like zumba for example. I like my gym colleagues too.

  17. July 27, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    Zombies Run sounds amazing! Must give this a try! My mummy went to Secret Cinemas 28 days later and was actually running away from zombies so this might work for her!

  18. July 27, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    A mulberry bag or two pairs of Jimmy Choos?? Send those zombies over to make me run!

  19. July 27, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    Pokemon GO is currently how I am keeping fit for free haha

  20. Hannah
    July 27, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    I must admit Pokemon GO is making me exercise like no tomorrow lol x

  21. July 27, 2016 / 9:02 pm

    I love the sound of the Sworkit app. We do have gym membership, which I love as we use the pool as a family a lot, but help fitting in extra bursts of exercise here and there sounds great.

  22. July 27, 2016 / 10:28 pm

    My fitness pal makes such a difference to me. I really need to get zombie run it sounds fun

  23. July 28, 2016 / 6:10 am

    I ditched the gym membership too (it was only half the price of yours though!) and I cycle frequently now and do home exercise videos with weights/yoga/HIIT. Love it. 🙂

  24. July 28, 2016 / 8:31 am

    I’m so saving this post. I need these apps in my life

  25. July 28, 2016 / 9:26 am

    Wow that £650 saved would give me an amazing holiday or pay for two months of rent. The list is endless.

  26. July 28, 2016 / 10:17 am

    Great post – I really want to get into yoga so definitely going to check out Yoga with Adriene!

  27. July 28, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    lol, great post. I love the sound of zombies run, what a great idea. I would make me run for sure.

  28. July 29, 2016 / 12:03 am

    Gyms are so expensive! I workout at home, i have a treadmill and crosstrainer and i use fitness dvds and weights so much cheaper and more practical.

  29. Anosa
    July 29, 2016 / 12:04 am

    I think if you have the right motivation and don’t get bored easily then shunning the gym is the best way forward but for me I found structured exercise classes are what I love and I have been enjoying going to the gym as it fits nicely into my current lifestyle

  30. July 29, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    I love this post, I’ve been thinking of quitting the gym for ages now as all i really do there is run which I can do outside anyway! I also ADORE the Zombies, Run app and always recommend it to people! x

  31. July 29, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! I do pilates at home all the time. There are so many great workouts on youtube.

  32. July 30, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    Sworkit is fab! I love it! It’s so good for a lot of things! I have only paid £50 for 6 weeks at the gym for the summer and I have been going quite a bit so I really do think I getting my moneys worth but I do agree that it can be so much cheaper to workout at home, only if you have the motivation though, which I don’t! I still have sworkit though so I can do a bit of yoga and ab stuff at home when I want to!

  33. August 3, 2016 / 1:53 am

    I used to use Map My Run, but found Runtastic to be a better fit for me. I’m always looking for great ways to workout at home or on my own. I’ll have to try out Yoga with Adrienne.

  34. March 11, 2017 / 6:13 am

    I love my bike trainer and do tons of push ups pull ups and planks. All of what ch I can do from home. Love being efficient at home for working out.

    Great post.

  35. July 26, 2017 / 10:50 am

    £65 a month! That is crazy. Although I had to buy a load of exercise equipment for home, it cost 2 months of a gym membership max. Another good app to add to that list is Sweatcoin, which rewards you for exercising

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