Going to the gym is an expensive business. Membership fees can set you back a hefty sum every month which is needed elsewhere. However, there are alternatives (no matter what the gym says) that will help you get fit and healthy so that you can enjoy spending that money saved from the gym.
Depending on your age some of you may remember the craze of fitness videos from the 80’s through to the 90’s. Thankfully some of the cheesiness has been removed from the modern day versions.
All joking aside fitness DVDs provide us with a great workout in the comfort of our own home for a one off price. Most will also feature whole training programmes including what to eat and drink etc so they will help you to track your progress for a couple of months.
These DVDs are a great option for those trying to lose weight or tone up certain areas of their body. The only thing I would suggest is choosing a presenter and/or music genre that won’t make you want to punch something because the aim is to enjoy (kind of) these DVDs, not to that every second.
A great choice for those looking to get fitter rather than lose weight, you can run anywhere form your local athletics club to the streets. This is a personal favourite exercise of mine mainly because it costs absolutely nothing to do. All you need is an old set of clothes and trainers (running shoes are ideal but as we’re trying to cut costs trainers should do) and you’re off. Numerous apps are out there for you to download to your smartphone to help you keep track of your progress.
Take up a sport
Probably the most enjoyable idea on this list is taking up a sport, because exercising for the sake of exercising can get a bit tedious. The variety available is huge so take your pick from football and rugby to squash and swimming there is a sport out there for you.
Although for the more ‘exotic’ sports you will probably have to pay some kind of fee although this should be tiny compared to your gym membership. The great things about sports it’s that they can become great social events; going to the gym can be a pretty lonely way to get fit but through taking up a sport you come across people who are often trying to achieve the same things you are.
Get Back to Basics
These days everyone thinks that the only way to build bigger muscles or tone up is to get down to the gym and start lifting heavy weights. Obviously that does work but there is another way which will help you to improve your general strength without buying masses of weights and other equipment.
Try using your own body weight. By this I mean you should go back to the basics of strength training that would not have looked out of place on those old 50’s educational videos. So try doing press-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, dips, lunges, squats and the list goes on. If these exercises were good enough for our parents they are perfectly acceptable for us.
This kind of training will increase what I like to call ‘practical strength’. I’m not sure if that’s a real term or not but basically it means your strength is actually there. I’m probably getting a few odd virtual looks now but let me explain; those guys you see in the gym with big muscles a lot of them would struggle if you sent them to the highland games or to do some real hard manual labour. Whereas training like this, where you are working against your own body weight, will help you to build muscles that don’t run out of puff once you’re outside the gym.
If you’re unsure of any of these exercises you can always look online where there are numerous tutorials.