THE cost of gym memberships and exercise classes means our wallets feel like they’re losing more weight than us.
Here busy mum and health and fitness guru Pollyanna Hale shares her tips on how to keep fit for less, from using free or low-cost apps to creating your own exercise classes with friends:
- Free apps: Apps are great for people who love using their phones and most offer a free version, with paid upgrades for premium features. WatchFit has tons of free articles as well as relatively cheap plans you can buy.
- Gym classes aren’t necessary: Home workouts can be really effective if you can motivate yourself. YouTube has lots of free workout videos to follow too.
- Make it up: Make up your own workout using bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, sit-ups, burpees, press-ups and sprints on the spot. Interval training is great if you’re short on time. Or if you prefer getting outdoors then running, cycling or a long walk are all free.
- Household chores: Play some lively music, put some effort in and work quickly — you’ll get the jobs done twice as fast and have a tidy house by the end. If gardening, ensure you work up a sweat for it to be effective.
- Keep moving: Take every opportunity to move more, like using a standing desk and pacing up and down while taking phone calls. All movement helps boost circulation and prevents stiff muscles and an achy back.
- Playing with the kids: If you have children then playing with them is certainly better than sitting on the sofa or park bench. In fact playgrounds are fantastic for an all-over workout, with a good mix of climbing, pulling yourself up, holding your core tight to support yourself and chasing after your kids.
- Get creative: Most workout classes will ask for a small fee but if there’s nothing suitable for you why not create your own class with a few friends? Keep each other accountable by committing to meeting in the park or in someone’s living room or garden if there’s space.
- Go online: Numerous online support groups are popping up where you can get support and ask advice from people with similar goals. Facebook groups in particular can be a good way to meet other budding fitness fans. Weight Loss and Fitness for Mums is my group aimed at sharing tips on how to get fit and eat healthier.
FITNESS FACT BOX
- We shell out an average of £362 a year on gym memberships, according to TotallyMoney.com
- Last year a staggering £558million a year was spent on gym memberships that aren’t used, says a poll by gym clothing brand Banana Moon.
- One in seven of us are members of a gym, according to a leisure industry report.
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Two free tickets to Madame Tussauds worth £70
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- T&Cs apply. Subject to availability.