Today I have a guest post from Petra at Be Healthy Now, where she writes about all aspects of health and fitness and has lots of ideas for natural, healthy living. Here she explains about frugal fitness and how you don’t have to spend a lot to improve your health. Please do pay her a visit!
Frugal Fitness: you don’t have to spend a fortune to get fit
Summer is the time when many people are looking to get fit and lose some weight in preparation for their summer holiday. It’s the best time to start exercising as many outdoor activities are free and don’t cost a penny. I know it can get really rainy in summer in the UK but still, there are plenty of activities to do indoors as well and get fit in no time. You really don’t need to go to the gym to get fit and lose some weight and here are my tips to develop a frugal fitness regime.
Save yourself some money by following these tips:
Exercise with your partner or a friend
Exercising with your partner at home can be both fun and motivating. There are several exercises you can do together such as Partner Plank, Partner Jump-squat High Fives, Split Lunges and Inchworm Hand Taps. For more ideas on what kind of exercises you can do together, check out this post. Just make sure you agree on the day and time you want to exercise together to avoid skipping the workout.
Frugal fitness with free outdoor activities
There are several outdoor activities to enjoy when the weather is good that are all free. Try the following:
- Football or basketball with your kids or friends
- Fast walking or hiking
- Play badminton or tennis in the park (you can find free outdoor tennis courts across the UK. If you don’t have the rackets, borrow them from somebody or get them cheap second-hand)
- Cycling (if you have a bike)
- Swimming in a lake or sea (you may need a wet suit where temperatures are not that high)
- Outdoor gyms and fitness trails – make use of them if you have one near you, they are free!
When it rains
Fortunately, when the weather is not ideal for outdoor activities, there are plenty of things you can do indoors as well.
First, check the YouTube and see what exercise videos you can find that will suit your level of fitness.
Many videos don’t require any equipment at all, so you can easily focus only on those. But if you do want to do some weight training, get yourself some cheap second-hand weights. You can find these on Facebook, Gumtree and even in charity shops (if you are lucky). In some cases, people just want to get rid of their weights and will give them away for free.
Other indoor exercises or activities you could try are as follows:
- Yoga (you just need a mat and some good attitude)
- Skipping (try this if you have enough space in your house – skipping ropes are very cheap and cost only a few pounds but by doing this and not going to the gym you still save money)
- Hula Hooping – Hula Hoops are not just for kids! Hula Hoop exercise is an excellent workout that will tone your midsection and help you be active while you are having fun. Yes, this type of exercise may require some initial investment but look for second-hand Hula Hoops. These won’t cost the earth and may even be free – just check websites such as Freegle.
- Stair climbing – make use of the stairs in your house and do some stair climbing. This is a great cardio activity that will strengthen your legs and burn plenty of calories. If you don’t have the stairs where you live, find some public buildings where you can do this.
Free trials, passes and other free activities
Even if you have no intention of joining the gym, it doesn’t mean that you cannot visit it once in a while using one of the available free passes. Many gyms are offering free day passes these days for you to get a taste of their gym so why not make use of them? Just a note: they will try to get you to sign up with them but there is no obligation for you to do so.
If you’d rather do your workouts at home, there are also many free online trials available for different programmes, online classes and even online personal training.
I love BeachBodyOnDemand which offers tons of exercise videos for all kind of fitness levels and ages. I also love online personal training from Caliber Fitness, which is great if you want to start weight training and don’t know where to begin. Caliber Fitness will also give you nutrition tips and support during your weight loss journey. Just remember to cancel these programmes before the free trial ends to avoid getting charged for them (they require you enter your credit card details when you sign up).
More options to consider:
- Couch to 5K – a free running plan for beginners that comes with podcasts and a free app.
- If you are 60+, check with your local council to see if they offer any free activities for this age group. Normally you will find you are entitled to things such as free swimming or certain classes.
- Free table tennis – More and more table tennis tables are now available in England (indoor and outdoor) where you can play table tennis for free. You may have to bring your own bats and balls though.
Getting fit and healthy – take a holistic approach
It’s all well and good increasing your activity levels to help you get fit, but if you want to take your health to the next level and lose weight faster, you should also consider doing the following:
- Drink plenty of water. Keeping hydrated improves your exercise performance and it’s important for your heart health, kidney health and liver health. Drinking a big glass of water half an hour before meal times helps to prevent over-eating and reduces the number of calories you consume.
- Assess your diet and see where you could improve it. Cut down on sugary snacks, fatty takeaways and try and eat more vegetables and fruits.
- Get enough sleep, as this will help you recover from exercise faster and will stop you from snacking mindlessly when you are low on energy.
- Reduce your stress levels and take time for self-care. When your stress levels are high, it will be more difficult for you to lose weight as your metabolism will slow down due to high levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone. Experiencing stressful situations may also be a cause for overeating.
I hope you enjoyed this post and feel inspired to plan a new frugal fitness regime. They say prevention is better than cure and that’s what Petra’s blog is about. If you would like to learn how to improve your fitness, eat more healthily, prevent illnesses such as cancer or about natural beauty, take a look here.