We’ve all attempted to get out of a gym membership. You know you haven’t been in months, yet it’s still making a dent in your bank account. You get on the phone, ready to tell the person on the other end of the line that you won’t be coming back. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, especially when they take you on a guilt trip, but if you hold your ground they will eventually back down.
That’s when you realise another problem. You’ve quit your gym membership. How are you going to keep fit now?
There are cheaper alternatives you can try to help you keep your heart rate up, your body trim and your head clear throughout the day. I’m sure there are a few on this list you haven’t thought of.
Go for a run or a hike
You’re prepared to run for ten minutes on a treadmill, so why not try getting out and exploring your neighbourhood?
As an added bonus, the fresh air and time in the sun is not beneficial for your physical health, but can also have a good impact on your mental health. According to the Huffington Post, the different scents of flowers and trees that float through the air can help decrease stress and anxiety, making you feel more more at ease.
This could be a great addition to your morning routine before work. Create a Spotify playlist full of motivating tracks to keep you going.
Yoga YouTube tutorials
Proper yoga classes will cost you, but that doesn’t mean you should rule it out as a way to keep your fitness up. You will need two things; a Yoga mat and a WiFi connection. You can set up a small space at home, ready for a quick session before you head to work or class to keep you relaxed throughout the day.
YouTube is a great source for Yoga tutorials, featuring lessons that for any level of expertise. Yoga With Adriene’s ‘Yoga For Complete Beginners - 20 Minute Home Yoga Workout’ is a great place to start.
Take the stairs
Think about all the places you go during the day. How many of those places require the choice of taking a lift or elevator or using the stairs?
Take advantage of your busy schedule by doing things that require a bit more movement than your usual choice. Taking the stairs is just one example. If you need to pick up a few things at the shops and they are within walking distance, leave the car at home. If you’re trying to figure out what to do on your next date night, try bike riding or ice skating rather than another dinner at your favourite Italian restaurant. Even the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.
Find a ball, a court and a few mates
The best thing about working out with friends is being able to spend time with them. Team sports are the best way to do that. Basketball, tennis, beach volleyball; anything goes! There are many public courts and fields available for anyone to use. Usually, you don’t have to go far to find one.
I’m sure you’ll find an entire team of friends who are keen for a game on a warm day. It can be a sport you used to play as a kid, or one you’ve always wanted to try. It’s never too late to learn a new skill.
DIY boot camp
Here’s is another one that allows a social aspect to come into play. DIY boot camps allows a group of friends come together to do a series of exercises ranging between different intensities for an hour.
The do-it-yourself element allows you and your friends to tailor your workout needs and fitness levels. The mix of The collaborative workout can be helpful in terms of raising motivation and willpower. Friends pushing each other to be at their best is probably more effective than having a trainer.
Take up dog walking as a part-time job
I see this as a dream workout for the broke animal lover. Instead of spending money to keep fit, you can try making some money. That’s one of the added perks of becoming a dog walker.
Round up a few names of dog owners you know who live nearby and sort out a schedule to space out each walk. Take them round the neighbourhood, or down to the park for a field trip to see the world outside their backyard. It will keep the dogs happy and healthy, as well as you.
Dancing the night away
Going out with with your friends can be just as effective as a 30-minute workout, specifically when there’s dancing involved. Parties, night clubs, cheap gigs or even a girl’s night in; they all involve music filling your eardrums, begging you to dance along. So go for it.
Dancing the night away is a perfect way you to burn some calories while you have fun. Berkeley Wellness details some of the benefits dancing has on people, including an improved sense of balance, a positive mindset, an elevated heart rate and a healthy heart.
There we have it; seven different ways to keep you fit and healthy on a regular basis without having to fork out a membership fee. Take your pick and see what works for you.
WORDS BY JESSICA TESTA