Keeping on top of your fitness goals is already difficult enough and that’s before you consider the potential impact it could have on your wallet. The rapid rise of premium gym memberships, pricey class packages and their social-media crazed, omni-glamorous attendees make it seem like everyone is constantly trying something new (without a care in the world for their bank accounts, we might add). This can promote the notion that your fitness vs your finances is an either/or type of situation, but we’re here to assure you that this couldn’t be further from the truth! We’ve got the 411 on getting the body of your dreams without setting foot in the gym (or placing a hand in your purse) and we’re about to seriously clue you in.
When it comes to money-saving fitness, it pays to get creative. Everyday objects can easily double up as exercise equipment if you use your imagination. That’s not just a water bottle in your hands, it’s a trusty dumbbell. Your bed? The perfect platform for tricep dips (obviously!). Pop a few books on the table and you’ve got yourself a standing desk. And that empty petrol canister that hasn’t been used since that time you ran out of juice one mile from the fill up point? Just top it up with sand and it instantly becomes a kettlebell!
Or why not forgo the equipment altogether? It may surprise you to learn that you have a built-in gym at your disposal 24/7. No, it’s not through a secret passage in your hallway (seriously, stop looking!). It’s your actual physical self! Hear us out: Body weight training is a method of exercise that uses your own body mass to apply resistance to your workout moves. Think planks, push-ups, calf raises and bridges. The beauty of such a workout is that it can be performed anytime and anywhere. If you’re lacking in inspiration, be sure to check out the new YF website (yourfitnesstoday.co.uk) for a selection of tried-and-tested routines!
Step it up
If you’re anything like us, the stair machine conjures up the same disheartened groans as the burpee round at circuit training. Like everyone else, we plough on regardless, however, because we know that it’s the best thing going for toned thighs and a tight tush!
The good news is that waving goodbye to your gym membership doesn’t mean giving up the benefits of this frenemy apparatus. It may seem silly at first, but going up and down the stairs in your house can burn up to 200 calories every 10 minutes. Just be careful not to trip on your way south. Of course, this isn’t a tip for your home life alone. Ensure you’re taking the stairs at every opportunity in your day-to-day schedule. Sayonara escalators and lifts!
Try the tube
YouTube that is! The internet is a great tool for free workouts, especially when it comes to trying something new. Want to boost your HIIT game? Learn how to stretch properly? Try ballet fitness? That little red box is the best place to start. Just type your chosen activity into the search bar and allow an endless list of living room-friendly fitness plans to take centre-stage on your screen. You’ll soon build up a repertoire of go-to channels that you can’t get enough of and you can save your favourites to a custom playlist for easy access on-the-go. We’re currently obsessing over the following:
Hosted by certified instructor and social media sensation Cassey Ho, this channel can keep you going for hours! Casey’s upbeat attitude will have you breezing through a ton of workout styles including Pilates, HIIT and dance cardio and there are also videos on diet and nutrition to supplement your activity.
Offering a wide range of great workout sessions, the BeFit channel is your one-stop destination for all things fitness. If you really want to commit to a plan, turn on trainers Alicia Marie and Courtney Prather’s 30-day butt lift workout. We saw results in just 20 days!
Tone it up
TIU girls Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott have taken the internet by storm. Their instagram accounts provides plenty of fitspiration, their downloadable guides (not free, sorry!) are more popular than ever and their YouTube channel certainly doesn’t disappoint either. Tune in for targeted workouts filmed on sunny beaches.
Get acquainted with running
It’s costless, it’s straightforward and it’s effective. What more could you want? Even if you’ve always hated the idea, there are plenty of ways to make it more appealing.
Our favourite way to spice things up? It’s all about those apps (yes, we’re back on that)! Try downloading Zombie Run – a gaming app that transforms your jaunt into a life or death situation as you attempt to escape a zombie apocalypse – or C25K, a couch to 5K program that is designed to ease anyone into running over an eight-week period via a slow progression from walking to jogging in very doable intervals. More than 15,000 five-star reviews can’t be wrong!