Woman's feet walking on pavement

Get fit without spending a fortune

Getting fit can be cheap – and it brings amazing benefits

If we’d like to get fit it could be great for our health – and cheap too.

Being more active and getting stronger is one of the best things we can do for our mental health. It can also help with any aches and pains.

But we could be forgiven for thinking that fitness is something only the wealthy can afford. Gym memberships, travel, trainers… the costs quickly add up.

The good news is that there are ways to get fit that are cheap – or even free.

Out in the fresh air

Walking or running, for example, are great ways of getting active. They also have the added benefit of getting us outside into the fresh air.

Strava is an app (the basic version is free) where we can record our activity, whether that’s walking, running or getting out on a bike. Keeping a log of what we do can help us to stay motivated – and show us if we’re getting faster or going further. 

Parkrun is a fun and friendly organised 5K run, and they’re held in most parts of the country on a Saturday morning. We can see if there’s one that suits us on their website. There are more than 1,000 UK-wide, with a junior version too (and we’ll get cheered on so it’s a great way of staying motivated).

And the park’s not just for running. We may have a ‘trim trail’ near us – outdoor gyms that are free to use. The machines tend to come with pictures and decent instructions so that we know what to do.

Disability and fitness

For an indoor workout, YouTube is our friend. If we’re disabled, there are seated workouts we could try, or exercises targeted at the muscles we’re able to use safely. 

There’s a video on YouTube for everyone, from yoga and Pilates to aerobics and weights. Speaking of weights, there’s no need to go out and buy a set of dumbbells to get started. A couple of tins from the kitchen cupboard will do the job just fine. It’s still a good idea to watch some videos on YouTube so that we can see how to lift them safely though.

Quids in! is a big fan of Joe Wicks for his no-nonsense approach to diet and fitness. He also has a YouTube channel, and if we sign up to his newsletter we’ll get free workouts and recipes.

Of course, we may need to shell out some cash if we’re serious about getting fit. We may not be keen on the idea of second-hand trainers, for example. But quite a few retailers sell shoes at a big discount if they’ve been scuffed or marked while on display. Schuh have discounts of up to 80 per cent on their outlet page.

And there are lots of websites and shops where we can find second-hand clothes. But Preloved Sports specialises in fitness gear for a fraction of the cost of buying new.

If we’re new to fitness, or just a bit out of shape, it’s a good idea to check with our GP that it’s OK to start exercising.

But once we’ve got the green light, we may find getting fit is one of the best things we’ve ever done! And if you try something new, tell us about it on social media!

Image: Daniel Reche / Pexels

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