A guest post from the fabulous Katie Saves who blogs about making extra money, saving money and organising life as a new mum! Take it away Katie….
We all know we should get moving more, we know how important it is for our health, and yet for some reason many of us (myself included much of the time) find excuse after excuse for why we are not making it a priority.
One excuse among the many I have used myself in the past is, ‘it’s too expensive’. A few years ago I found myself paying a £38 a month gym membership that I barely used, spending upwards of £50 a month on new leggings and trainers in the hopes that having the right ‘gear’ would inspire me and yet I still couldn’t commit to making it part of my routine.
The thing is, you don’t have to spend a fortune in order to exercise. Having the fashionable kit and an expensive membership still might not be enough to make you want to exercise if you’re just not feeling it – instead you will just wind up feeling guilty about the money you’ve wasted and continue to pour down the drain each month.
Now, while I’m not going to sit here and say ‘I know how to get you motivated’, what I am going to say is exercise doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost you anything at all! So how about we go ahead and eliminate the money excuse? We can tackle the rest of the excuses another time!
Here is how you can save money and exercise on a budget.
Save Money on Exercise
Completely free – all you need is your workout clothes and a pair of trainers. Of course, if you find you get into it you might want to invest in a good pair of supportive shoes but in general, it isn’t going to cost you anything.
If you’re not a runner, start off slow and build yourself up – there are plenty of free running plans available online for beginners and even apps you can download such as Couch to 5k which are designed for complete newbies.
You can also download free apps such as MapMyRun and NikeRunning, which record your work out. They provide you with stats and analysis of each run which is brilliant for motivation to keep going and improve on your times and distances.
If you don’t fancy running solo, search for your local park run. They are usually on a Saturday morning, 5km and are completely free and for runners of all abilities.
Again, this is another one that is completely free to do and that you can do almost anywhere. You don’t even need to invest in a yoga mat right away – you can do it on a rug or your bedroom carpet.
There is a whole plethora of yoga videos available on YouTube that you can watch for free and that are suited to varying abilities from complete beginners to pros – you don’t need to pay £5+ to attend a class!
Remember the Insanity craze from a few years ago? High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a super quick but extremely effective way of burning off some calories.
But instead of shelling out a fortune for DVDs, again head to YouTube – if you search ‘HIIT Workout’, you’ll return loads of results from quick 10 minute workouts to more strenuous 1 hour workouts.
I’ve tried a few of these at home and have sweated just as much as any class I’ve attended!
Check out a Budget Gym
More and more budget gyms are popping up around the place, and I think their membership is a great option, particularly if you’re already familiar with gyms and equipment.
PureGym for example, have over 250 gyms across the country – my nearest costs just £10.99 a month with no contract.
Better still, if you’re a student you can get up to 30% extra off with Unidays.
Check out Your Local Leisure Centre
If you are after a gym membership, but don’t want to pay the eye-watering monthly memberships at some of the bigger chains, then your local leisure centre might be a good alternative.
Our borough offers monthly membership for £28.99 a month – while this seems like a lot, you actually get so much more than just gym membership.
This is an excerpt of the benefits my local council offers:
- 3 Swimming Pools
- Free Weights
- Health Suite
- Racquet Sports
- 100 plus Group Exercise Classes including World Class Les Mills
- Free Induction
- Free parking
This is a great option if you don’t live near a big city and can’t access budget gyms.
If lifting weights isn’t your bag then how about walking? We often overlook walking, but getting your steps in each day is massively beneficial to your health and costs absolutely nothing!
We are very fortunate to live in the valleys and are surrounded by beautiful, scenic walks. In fact, we’re just a short drive away from Pen-Y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons, which is Wales highest peak.
Schedule in a walk with friends, smash out your 10k steps and socialise all in one fell swoop.
Even better, download an app such as Sweatcoint, Betterpoints and earn while you walk!
Save Money on Exercise Gear
I mentioned earlier that I used to spend a stupid amount of money on gym clothes.
What was I thinking? Since then I’ve become a lot more savvy in my approach to buying exercise gear. Here’s a few ideas to help you save money on your purchases.
Always, always, always go through a cashback website such as Topcashback or Quidco. If you don’t you’re leaving free money on the table! Two of my favourite shops for cheap gym clothes are SportsDirect and MandMDirect – a quick search on Topcashback shows me that you can get 4% and 3% cashback respectively.
If you need a new pair of trainers, head to your nearest discount outlet. We go a couple of times a year when we’re buying Christmas presents or when we need new trainers.
My last pair of running shoes were Asics with an RRP of £120 – I paid just £22 at the designer outlet shop.
If I’m after a particular brand (let’s face it – we all love a good brand name), I will head to eBay and see if I can scout out a bargain.
I wanted a high support sports bra from Nike, but they cost £47.95. I managed to find the same one, brand new on ebay for less than half that price.
I never thought I’d mention this as when it comes to sportswear I’m happy to spend a bit more as the stakes are slightly higher – no one wants see-through leggings when they’re squatting! BUT, I have heard excellent things about high street exercise wear in particular Primark.
Apparently, (I’m yet to try them – I have more than enough sports wear) Primark leggings are well fitting AND squat proof – and cost a fraction of the Sports Brands counterparts – so if you’re on a budget, it’s definitely worth a look!
So there we have it, a few ideas to help you get to exercising if you’re on a budget.
There are many reasons why we don’t make our health a priority. Let’s not make money one of them.
To read more about money saving ideas link in to Katie Saves blog