The new year begins and so does the collective bullying to do more exercise and improve our fitness. The holidays are over, cocktails galore have been enjoyed, gym membership prices are at their all-time high and our bank balances are mostly low. So, if you’re in the choir of ‘new year, new me,’ and you’re looking to get fit in the name of new beginnings, we’ve got some tips to do it on the cheap.
If classes are your thing, chances are that there are a few local ones on offer for a darn sight cheaper than whatever your local gym hosts. While we wouldn’t turn our noses up at a temperature-controlled, jasmine-scented room and a yoga instructor clad in designer active-wear, who’s to say those top dollar classes are any better than the ones held at your nearest community centre? Check out the notice boards at your local public spaces (post office/grocery store etc.) and browse through local Facebook groups for adverts promoting such classes.
Pay As You Go
Unless you’re a committed three-times-per-week gym-er, the amount you pay for your membership probably works out more expensive than paying per visit. Most gyms offer a pay-per-session system, so if your hectic lifestyle is getting in the way of regular training, take advantage of this and pay as you go.
Check out the GymBetter app, which allows you to visit a number of gyms across Australia on a pay-as-you-go basis, for a fixed fee.
Run, run, run
It’s an obvious one, but running is by far one of the easiest way to burn calories not cash. Rather than just promising yourself you will run every week and not actually doing anything about it, plan a set timetable and treat it like a weekly class. Download a running app and stick to your training schedule.
Couch to 5k is a brilliant place to start for beginners, Runtastic allows you to download and listen to audiobooks and podcasts as you run, and Nike+ Run Club will adapt to your training as you become a more experienced runner.
Walk Everywhere And Take The Stairs
This one makes a fantastic New Year’s resolution: walk more and always choose the stairs. Apart from running, walking is the easiest and cheapest way to reap the benefits associated with an active lifestyle. What’s more, walking just 30 minutes a day is said to boost your mood and even be a more effective treatment for depression than antidepressant medication. Taking the stairs is also a surprisingly effective form of exercise, burning more calories per minute than jogging. Try the app StepJockey, which lets you track how many stairs you have climbed and how many calories you’ve burnt, and compete against your daily scores.
There are apps and tutorials for almost everything these days, so take advantage of the plethora of content online and trust it with your fitness goals.
YouTube is a brilliant place to get started. If you’re a beginner and keen to try yoga, start off with the very popular Yoga With Adriene and her 30-day challenge. Try Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott’s channel Tone It Up for a great HIIT workout and Jessica Smith for a variation of 20-minute workouts.
For apps, Sworkit offers the most comprehensive and varied collection of workouts, and also helps you find or create a workout of your own to suit you. Freeletics Bodyweight is the one for you if you’re aiming to build muscle, tone up and increase your strength. And if you’re looking to concentrate on a particular area of your body Daily Ab Workout, Daily Butt Workout and Daily Leg Workout do exactly that.