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Exercising on a budget

Financial worries are one of the biggest forms of stress, particularly at this time of year when money can be tight. With prices on the up and people looking to save where they can, paying for a gym or leisure centre can be the first to go, which is a huge shame when exercise can be so beneficial for managing stress and anxiety. But all is not lost - there are loads of ways to keep fit without spending a fortune so check out our ways to stay active on a budget.

The Great Outdoors

Parks and streets can be your gym! Your local park is great for simply taking a stroll, having a kick-about with your mates or kids, or going for a run. Exercising in natural surroundings is said to be great for mental health too as well as being much nicer to look at than a treadmill. Remember to wrap up warm and wear some bright colours if you’re heading out in the dark! 

Travel while you Train

While the road may not be as pretty, it’s good for getting in the miles on a run or a bike, so you could consider running or cycling to work to keep fit as well as saving some money on travel. Take a look at this Cycle Journey Planner to see the best way to get to from A to B on your bike. 

Outdoor Gyms

The Great Outdoor Gym Company has nearly 350 outdoor gyms across the UK, all of which are absolutely free. There are strength, cardio, and tone zones, with mini stations for kids, and some stations even generate electricity – talk about green! Find your nearest Great Outdoor Gym on their website.

Free Trials

Lots of gyms have free trials where you can try the facilities for a day or more before deciding on a membership. Plenty of fitness classes also have taster sessions so you can see whether it’s for you before committing. Fitness FirstHarpers FitnessLA FitnessNuffield Health and British Military Fitness all do this, so have a search on our sport and fitness finder to see if there’s one of these near you. 

Exercise at Home

Items in your house can be used for upper body workouts, and you don’t need a fancy gym to do bodyweight exercises. Find some suitably heavy objects (soup cans? Yellow Pages?) for your upper body or during squats and lunges, and try running up and down the stairs to get your heart going – it’s great for the glutes too! 

Technology

There are some great apps out there if you have a smartphone, and the best part is that loads of them are free. Nike Training Club acts like a personal trainer without the hefty price tag, and Hundred Push-Ups does what it says on the tin. Fitness DVDs can also be fairly low-cost, so invite a friend over and do some Zumba Fitness from the comfort of your own living room.

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