12 Fun Ways to Get Fit When You’re on a Tight Budget

Being healthy isn’t just for the wealthy. Forget fancy gym memberships and pricey PT’s – you can get fit and stay fit when you’re on a budget. Here’s several ways to workout that won’t cost a fortune.

how to get fit on a budget

Home workouts

This is probably the most obvious way to get fit on a budget, because it literally costs you nothing. But as well as being affordable, it’s also super convenient. No commuting to the gym, or queuing to use gym equipment, or worrying about how you look when you’re dripping with sweat. You can workout in the privacy of your own home. Pyjamas and all.

All you need to get in shape at home is an area with enough empty floor space for you to comfortably move around whilst doing your exercise. For example, your kitchen or living room floor. If it’s summer time, take your workout into the garden!

Do you feel lost when it comes to what to do for home workouts? Well, read on, because the next two points will give you some guidance.

Workout DVDs

The concept of home workout videos have been around for over 65 years. But workout videos really took off in the 80’s thanks to Jane Fonda – the aerobics queen! Nowadays, there’s a lot less spandex, perms and leg warmers involved (thankfully).

Workout videos are still a hugely popular method of getting fit at home, with many TV reality stars reaching a new audience of Millennials through their DVDs. For example, Geordie Shore star, Charlotte Crosby’s ‘3-minute Belly Blitz’ and The Only Way Is Essex star, Ferne McCann’s ‘As Fit as Ferne’.

The top home workout DVD’s in 2019:

  • Fit as Ferne
  • Joe Wicks: The Body Coach Workout
  • Davina: Power Box & Tone

YouTube and Instagram videos

YouTube is essentially the ‘new’ workout DVD. In fact, it’s even better than a DVD because it’s completely free. It’s one of the most popular forms of social media, with over 1.8 billion people using it and there are thousands of workout videos on this platform from people of different expertise: personal trainers, body builders, gymnasts, yoga instructors, sports scientists and more.

Working out at home never has to be boring. You can choose from a range of different types of exercises; dance, aerobics, HIIT, weight lifting, yoga, pilates and more. Or choose to target a different part of your body every day of the week with workouts specialising in abs, bums, tums, arms, legs.

Some of my favourite YouTube workout videos are:

As well as YouTube, one of my favourite places to look for free workouts is Instagram. Many fitness bloggers are kind enough to upload fresh, inspiring video content on a daily basis, making this social media platform a gold mine for free home workout ideas. My ‘Saved’ posts section on Instagram is just a library of workout videos, which I save for a later date and copy when I’m looking to work up a sweat at home.

Some of my favourite Instagram fitness accounts are:

  • Kayla Itsines
  • Krisy Cela
  • Jasmine Dawn
  • The Body Coach
  • Linn Lowes

Affordable home workout equipment

You don’t necessarily need to buy any fancy workout gadgets and accessories to get fit at home. You can do it without using any equipment at all. But if you’re looking to challenge yourself a little bit more, especially if you’re looking to tone up and build muscle, workout equipment is the way forward. This does’t mean you should cave into the media and influencers trying to convince you that you need to buy their crazy, expensive ‘scientifically proven’ fitness tool. There are some cheap but effective solutions out there.

I use the following home workout equipment:

  • Resistance bands
  • Ankle weights
  • Skipping rope
  • Yoga mat
  • Dumbbells
  • Medicine ball
  • Bosu ball

Everyday items in the home

If you want to save even more money, you can get really creative and use everyday items from your home as an alternative to fitness equipment.

For example, you can fill up two litre bottles of water and use these as weights. You’ll be surprised at how heavy the bottle is after doing 25 squats with it!

Or a bag of rice will do. You can even fill up a rucksack with heavy items such as bags of rice and then use this as a weight on your back when you’re performing exercises.

A cushion or flannel can be used as a slider under your foot on a smooth surface when you’re performing certain abs or legs exercises.

My brother even found an old scaffolding pole and hung it between two trees in our garden to use as a pull-up bar. Clever, right?

Go for runs

Another idea that’s pretty obvious. Get yourself into the the great outdoors for some fresh air and exercise by taking up running. Whether it’s running round your block, in a local park or as part of a running community, this is one of the best ways to lose weight and stay healthy without having to spend a penny.

Go cycling

Cycling is not only a great way to get out and see more of the world, it’s one of the best forms of exercise because it allows you to burn calories whilst also building strength muscle in your legs. This is because when you’re cycling uphill or having to sprint cycling to over take a car, there’s resistance against your muscles which helps you to build strength.

Many workplaces in London have a cycle to work scheme that you could opt in for. The scheme allows employers to loan cycles and cyclists’ safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. This will help to keep you fit, as well as doing your bit for the environment by cutting pollution levels.

Use public spaces

Parks are a great place to workout. Besides the standard running, there’s so many different workouts you can do in a space like this! In the past, I’ve even used a park bench to perform a workout. Just like a regular bench in the gym, you can use a park bench to do step ups, squat jumps, tricep dips and much more. You just need to be creative and the possibilities are endless.

Accessibility and price are the main barriers stopping people from going to the gym. But nowadays, there are actually outdoor gymnasiums available in public parks in the UK. Otherwise known as ‘adult playgrounds’, these outdoor gyms are much more complex than just a monkey bar for pull ups. There’s something for everyone.

Long dog walks or jogs

I mean, is there really any workout that’s better than one that involves a furry friend? Dogs make everything better, including boring cardio. Taking your dog for a walk every day for just half an hour can help you burn anywhere from 90 to 200 calories at a time.

Fast paced walks and slow jogs are excellent forms of LISS (low intensity steady state cardio), which actually help you to burn more fat than high intensity workouts such as sprinting or spinning. This is because your body is able to process for oxygen when doing LISS.

Don’t have a dog? Just steal one! 😉

Discounted or free fitness classes

It is possible to attend fitness classes for absolutely zero cost. As a form of self marketing or promotion, a lot of fitness centres or brands will do free classes in their first few days/weeks/months of opening. Recently, I attended a free yoga class at a new yoga pop up store that was opening at Shoreditch Boxpark. Keep an eye out for things like this popping up in your local area.

You can also check out eventbrite, which sells tickets to fitness events. On occassion, these will be totally free.

Websites like Groupon or Wowcher also have amazing discounts and offers for local fitness classes that are great quality, but low price.

Money Saving Expert also has a list of totally free gym passes, bootcamps and outdoor classes.

Cheap gym memberships

If you feel like working out at home and in the outdoors isn’t cutting it and a you really need a gym environment in order to achieve your best results. Then there are some affordable, budget-friendly gym membership options out there.

With how competitive and saturated the gym market is in 2019, you can now get a no-contract gym membership for as little as £10 a month. There are gym’s which have the unique selling point of being low budget, such as Easy Gym, The Gym and Pure Gym.

Free or cheap fitness apps

There is an abundance of fitness apps out there, making getting fit as easy as pushing a button. From calorie trackers, to healthy recipes, to workout plans, these apps are readily available at your finger tips, any place and any time.

My favourite fitness apps:

  • MyFitnessPal – Calorie and macro tracker (Free)
  • Nike+ Run Club – Running app (Free)
  • Workout Trainer – Workout video app (Free)

Now there’s no excuse for you not to get in shape. Working out in my garden using YouTube videos is exactly how I started out in my fitness journey, before I built up the confidence to start working out in a gym.

These were my results from doing one summer (approx. 12 weeks) of COMPLETELY FREE workouts.

Photo taken: July 2015

You can do it too!


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