As well as your financial goals, new year is a great time to set goals for your health and fitness. Here are my top tips and favourite apps to help you get fit for on a budget! More gym memberships are taken out at this time of year than at any other and it’s not surprising why. Here’s some top tips and advice to help you get or keep fit on a budget.
The gym is one of my least favourite places in the world. I always sign up with the best of intentions. I plan to go several times a week and be able to run a marathon within a matter of weeks but I end up hating it, if I go at all. Fitness is however an important part of our lives. I’m not proud of how unfit I’ve become, but equally I have no desire to be a marathon running gym-bunny. I also don’t want to spend money on somewhere I don’t want to go. I have however used a free trial at a gym before now, to get a bit of advice or try out some machines. You are usually under no obligation to sign up or commit. It is one of their best ways of marketing their locations – you will usually find these offers when a new gym opens in your area.
Couch to 5k
This is one of my all time favourite fitness apps. It was created in association with the NHS. It is free to download and I really enjoy using it. You set it off, and then put your music on. The voice will interrupt you when you need to speed up or slow down for your intervals and although the first few days are hard work, as it gets easier it is so incredibly satisfying.
Not ready for jogging?
Honestly my fitness is shameful! I live in a ground floor flat. My mum lives in a ground floor flat. My office is at the top of an office block – so we all take the lift. When I’m at my sister’s and I have to go up a flight of stairs to my niece’s bedroom it nearly kills me! I am starting at the very lowest levels of fitness. I am fortunate enough to have a Fitbit. These are not cheap, but they really are brilliant. I aim to get to my 10,000 steps everyday. Even if you don’t have a fitness tracker or pedometer and don’t know exactly how many steps you are doing – these are good ways and times to try to get you moving anyway.
- Get off the bus a stop earlier. It adds less than 5 minutes a day to my journey and gets me moving before I get to work.
- If you are going somewhere that is within walkable distance, walk it rather than drive or public transport. This will save money too. You’d be surprised how quick and stress free these journeys are sometimes and how things aren’t as far as you think.
- I like to spend my 1 hour lunchbreak half walking, and half sat and eating. A colleague and I, walk for about 15 minutes and then turn around and walk back. I then sit in the staff kitchen and sit and eat. That 30 mins makes a real difference to my step count.
- 30 day challenge apps – there are loads of these available on your mobile device. I always use ones that are free (and my in-app purchasing is always turned off just in case you accidentally try and buy some sort of upgrade). There are ones for pretty much every part of the body – my favourites are the ab, squat and butt challenge ones. As they are free – download them all and see which you get on with. You can also mix and match.
- Stand up and walk on the spot during the adverts of your favourite TV show.
Fancy some exercise from the comfort of your own home? Why not try a workout DVD? I think it’s a great idea and there are loads on the market. There’s intensive ones, more chilled ones, ones with music. Whatever kind of exercise you want to do – you will be able to find.