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!



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:

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.


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!!

38 thoughts on “Ditch the gym – how to keep fit for free

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. 🙂

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. £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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