A gym membership can be a great way of keeping fit, provided that you use it and that you can afford it. The variety of equipment and classes available may well help to keep you inspired. However, if you are short of money, one of the first ways that you can cut down is to get rid of your gym membership. There are plenty of ways that you can get a workout for free.
Use your local park
If you like running, but aren’t keen on doing so along roadways, start using your local park. It will probably be full of other runners, so you won’t feel out of place, and there will be plenty of benches for stretching exercises before and after you begin. If you’re lucky, there may even be equipment for chin-ups. Even better, if you get to know people, you can start meeting on a regular basis for workouts. If you’re part of a group, you will feel much less conspicuous and you can make friends.
Take up hiking
People tend to overlook the pleasures of hiking, thinking that it is too easy. However, if you are serious about it, you can get an incredible workout and build on your stamina. If you don’t know where to go, look at maps in your local library. If you want your work-out to be intensive, look for hillier areas. If you haven’t tried hiking before, you will need to build up your fitness level – it is very different from the short bursts of energy you need in the gym.
Borrow exercise DVDs
Exercising at home is a great way to keep fit, but it can become very boring if you are making up your own routines. You could purchase a couple of exercise DVDs, which don’t cost much more than an exercise class, but even better, you could borrow from friends and swap them around on a regular basis. That way, you can vary the exercise that you are doing and won’t get bored. Getting together with friends to exercise will ensure that you don’t miss out on the social aspect of the gym.
Use household items as weights
There is a tendency to presume that you need a certain amount of equipment if you are going to enjoy exercising at home. However, it really isn’t necessary. A lot of equipment available for use at home is poor quality and won’t last long anyway. All you really need is a chair, access to a wall, floor space and the use of tins or bags of food to use as weights. You can even get an aerobic workout by running up and downstairs or doing circuit training.
Look in your local library
If you are really stumped for ideas, go to your nearest library. You should be able to find leaflets about recommended walks in the area, as well as information on any exercise clubs – they won’t necessarily have a membership fee. You can also borrow books to give you ideas for workouts. Sometimes all you need is a bit of inspiration to ensure that you don’t get bored and that you have plenty of variety in your routine.
You may well think that you can’t manage without your gym membership, especially if you have had one for some time. However, with a bit of imagination and some help from free sources, there is no reason why you can’t have a great workout without having to spend a penny. You may soon wonder why you ever bothered with the gym in the first place.