Our fitness is something that really needs more care and attention than a lot of us give it. It is so easy to sit and moan about wanting to be fitter but knowing it will cost an arm and a leg to join a gym, class and the like. I have been there but in my years of moaning i have found that there are actually a lot of ways you can still keep fit without spending a penny.
Here are 10 free things i have tried in the past to keep fit while having little money.
So simple and so easy for most of us. Make sure you walk (non stop) for at least 20 mins every day. Not only does it have great physical benefits but by being outside improves your mental health and happiness too. It is something you can do with your kids and dogs who will also benefit greatly from it but it is 100% free.
You just need to grab your bike and go. If you have a bike that is. I don’t at present but i did recently see one up for grabs on a local freecycle type Facebook page. The other option is ask a buddy if you can borrow one they don’t use. My mum had one that just sat in the shed for years and years. So one day i asked to borrow it and i got some really good use out of it. If you are a little worried about cycling on the road just look up your local cycle paths and stick to them. That’s what i did anyway.
Just like walking and cycling running is another activity you can jut get up and do. If you are like i was and have never run for fitness in your life you can download some really great free running apps. They will play the music from your phone as you run and give you a heads up about when to start and stop running. As the programme goes on week by week you start to improve and before you know it you can run 10, 15 even 30 mins without stopping.
This is something i have just started doing again now i have my own place and space to do it. Its so simple too. Look up exercises for the areas you want to work on and then every morning spend a good 30 mins or so doing them and ALWAYS include your stretches. Make sure you keep at it and find ways to make it harder as your fitness improves. So introduce a new exercise or increase your sit ups by 20 ect..
There are loads of fitness tutorials and classes on You Tube that could really help you and it is one of those things where you give it a go and save it if you like it. It can be done from the comfort of your own home and costs you nothing other than your time and (hopfully) sweat!
Ditch your car
I don’t drive so i know better than anyone how easy it actually is to live without jumping in the car. When i am walking to work i see the traffic of car after car with just one person in it and wonder just how many of those people could have walked or cycled into work today. When i was growing up i would walk 2 miles to get to school in all weathers and in my adult life i have cycled 2 miles to get to the office. Most companies now have schemes for people who cycle to work where you can get your bike paid for or get added bonuses. All you need to do is take a spare set of clothes and have a way to freshen up and your set. So by ditching your car you are helping the environment, reducing traffic and boosting your fitness.
This is probably one of the most uplifting ones i wanted to include. By helping someone else you can in turn keep yourself more active than normal and keep yourself fit while knowing you are doing something good. Volunteering for example. A lot of charities need people willing to give their time for marshalling events, or working in their shops and cafe’s, help with building, lifting, gardening ect. and all of these things involve being on you feet and involve manual labour. So if you have a neighbour who has a dog they cant always walk offer to take them out, if your sister is having issues building a fence or decorating a room offer to help them, if you pop online to a charity and hit the ‘how can i help section’ take a look at their volunteer needs and sign yourself up. I have done this in the past and it is so, so rewarding.
Take up a hobby
There are so many hobbies that can be done for free but can really help you get motivated to get moving. Things like photography or bird watching get you out to new places and walking around. you can join free local groups on hikes, bike rides or litter picks. There are even mum groups who meet up with their buggies and go for walks together once a week. There are also fitness benefits in singing so if you can not afford a choir then teach yourself with a free you tube tutorial or a friend who might help you out. There are so many things you could do that you can organise yourselves too. Grab the lads once a week to meet for a game of football or rounders in the local park. Worth a go.
I have seen one in my local park and would really love to give it a proper go one day. There is a cross trainer, a bike and a swinging foot thing! I have also seen rowers in some out door gyms and weights. Obviously it is weather permitting but if its raining just stay in and do a home work out?
Look after yourself
I thought i would finish with an obvious one. Sleep well, eat sensibly, drink water and get your 5 a day. If you deter from any of these things it can really impact your self motivation and that is the first thing you need to get your fitness on. A lot of healthy living is about reprogramming your brain and day to day life. So your well-being and motivation should always be an important factor in any fitness or life plan. For free advice on this you can speak to your GP or NHS website or similar.
I hope these help and can give you some inspiration.