Most of us would like to be fitter and healthier. We’re all keen to find ways to look our best, to improve our moods, and to care for our health, so that we can live long, happy lives. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to achieve all of these things. But let’s face it, gym memberships are expensive. Even activities like swimming can be costly, and activewear, sports bottles, trainers and equipment can be very expensive.
One of the main reasons people have for not exercising is that it’s too expensive. Worries about the costs of things like gym memberships hold people back from really getting stuck into a fitness journey meaning that they miss out on the physical and mental health benefits of regular exercise.
The good news is that exercise doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of ways that you can enjoy a fitness journey and reap the benefits without breaking the bank.
Exercising outdoors is perhaps the best way to get fit without spending too much money. Even better, exercising outside has some benefits that you’d never get in the gym. It’s a chance to get more fresh air, push yourself in a way that you may struggle to do in a controlled gym environment, experience different terrains and gradients, and test your muscles. Exercising outdoors also means varied scenery, which can make exercise more interesting and mean that you are less likely to give up when things get hard. Jogging outdoors is very popular, but you can also hike, and even practice strength training in your garden, or a local park, using your own body and things like benches and goal posts which may be available to you.
Walk Short Distances
Walking is the most underrated exercise going. It burns calories and uses your muscles. If you walk quickly or uphill, it also improves your cardiovascular fitness. While going out specifically for a long walk is ideal, when you haven’t got time, something as simple as walking shorter distances instead of driving can make a big difference to your fitness. Try to set yourself a limit; for example, if a journey will take less than 30 minutes, you’ll walk instead of driving.
Change Your Social Life
If you are in the habit of meeting friends for meals or drinks, or for gatherings that involve food and sitting still, such as trips to the cinema, then try to change things up. Instead, meet for walks, classes at the gym, outdoor activities, or even spa days with the opportunity to use the health and fitness facilities. Many of these activities are free and even those that aren’t are unlikely to cost more than a big night out.
Listen to Your Body
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when committing to a fitness plan, no matter how much money you are spending, is failing to listen to your body.
So many of us ignore niggles, and try to carry on through the pain until we can’t go on any longer. We often end up with many serious injuries that take far longer to recover from because we’ve failed to listen to our bodies and get treatment at the first sign of a problem. Long-term injuries can end fitness journeys or put us back to square one, which means that any money you might have spent will have been wasted. So, make sure you listen to your body. Warm-up, cool down, and if you feel like your muscles, joints or limbs hurt more than they should, get help straight away.
Joint issues are very common for people starting to exercise for the first time or those increasing intensity. If your joints, bones or surrounding areas are causing you pain, get help from orthopaedic services. Circle Health Group consultant orthopaedic surgeons work with specialists across hospitals to investigate and diagnose symptoms and create a treatment plan. Circle Health Group offer a range of orthopaedic services to help you with any bone, joint or soft tissue issues, and to help you to live without pain and discomfort.
Drinking water is so much better for you than every other option out there; it’s free, and it’s better for you and is the best way to hydrate after exercise.
Skip Expensive Clothes
You don’t need branded sportswear to go for a jog. You can do it in comfortable leggings and a t-shirt that you already own. It’s worth investing in a sports bra and supportive shoes, but even these don’t need to be expensive.
Use What You’ve Got
Instead of buying expensive weights and other equipment, use what you’ve already got. Thick hardback books make great yoga blocks, and tins of food can be small weights while you get started.
Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive. Yes, you could spend a fortune at the gym, and on expensive outfits and shoes. Or you could just enjoy walking, only needing to buy a supportive pair of shoes. Create a health and fitness budget, and make sure you only spend what you’ve got.