How to Save Money on Your Fitness Routine

Keeping fit can be an expensive endeavour. A survey carried out by Myprotein found that the average person spends £124 a month on health and fitness, including gym membership, supplements, clothing, a personal trainer and meal plans/advice. That amounts to a hefty £94,658 over an average lifetime. What’s more, many people pay for a monthly gym membership and don’t actually use it. To save money on fitness, work out where your cash goes and consider how to cut costs while still keeping fit.

Ditch the Gym

If you’re not using your gym membership, you’re wasting your money. Save your cash, and go for fitness options that don’t cost anything at all. Walk or cycle as often as possible instead of driving or taking public transport. Join a local running club and make new friends at the same time as getting fit. The NHS recommends 150 minutes of weekly physical activity for adults to keep healthy. If you split this into 30 minute slots, five days a week, you can easily fit it into your daily routine.

Join Local Authority Gym

If you prefer a gym environment to work out (and have the motivation to get your money's worth) consider joining a municipal gym instead of a more expensive, private one. While you might have to bring your own towel and shower gel, you'll find similar equipment and classes and save on gym membership.

Pay As You Go

If you love the gym but your work schedule or other commitments rule out regular visits, a contract is a waste of money. Instead, try websites like PayAsUGym, which provides access to day or monthly passes at thousands of UK gyms without being tied into a contract. Cashback websites like Vouchercodes and TopCashback also offer savings on gym sessions as well as fitness clothing, equipment and supplements.

Head Outdoors

You don't need a pricey gym if you have a public park right on your doorstep (and there are no less than 27,000 of them in the UK). Many parks have free fitness trails to make exercise easier and more appealing, and some even have outdoor gym equipment like hurdles, parallel bars, monkey bars, weight-based strength machines and even cross-training machines. Check out ourparks.org.uk to see if your local park holds free group exercise classes.

Download Fitness Apps

Smartphone apps can help you reach your fitness goals in a lot of ways: by tracking your steps, monitoring your food intake, measuring your running and cycling speed, distance and elevation and providing a range of workout routines tailored to your fitness level and goals. Many apps, such as MyFitnessPal, Nike Training Club and Workout Trainer, are free to download, while others incur a small charge.

Turn on YouTube

You can work out from the comfort of your living room with a little help from YouTube, home to thousands of fitness instructors offering free workouts, tips and advice on their video channels. You'll find something that appeals to you whether you're interested in yoga, cardio, weight training or HIIT (high intensity interval training). Most instructors offer paid programmes and plans, but you can get everything you need from the free videos.

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About the Author

Claire Gillespie writes about health, science, home and parenting. She has bylines on SELF, SheKnows, The Washington Post, Vice and more.

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