Sports, Fitness & Outdoors Posts

3 ways to skip the gym membership and still lose weight

Let’s face it, the gym is expensive. When we sign up, we’ll commit to a few sessions and then begin promising ourselves that we will go tomorrow or the day after. Before you know it, you’ve paid for a year’s membership in monthly instalments and been all of seven times.

So here are three ways you can skip the gym membership and still lose weight.


Take advantage of free trial days at your local gyms and free buddy ups with your friends

If you want to go to the gym, but don’t want to be tied in and spending money for the time you aren’t there, then this one will be for you. Gyms offer free trial days to new and expired members all year round. They also offer buddy passes for current gym members, meaning your friend at work may be able to get you in for another session.

If you want to go more frequently, but still not enough to justify a full membership, some gyms also offer pay as you go plans or free classes at certain times of the day. The best way to find out about these is to ask your gym or your local council.


Invest in workout equipment to use at home

You don’t need a gym to look great. Workout machines are based on free weight movements, treadmills can be replaced by your favourite park or even your hallway, and steppers are just another way of running up stairs.

Workout equipment is designed to emulate real-life movements with extra weight, so you will find you can get a workout just as good at home. With a few clever purchases of the equipment you use at the gym (a free weight set for the weight machines, an aerobic step for the stepper, a gym ball for the gym ball etc.), you can have a full workout without leaving the comfort of your home.


Find a free outdoor gym or workout park near you

Many towns and cities have outdoor gyms and running routes dotted around their parks and green spaces. A great alternative to the drudgery of the treadmill, nature has also been shown to make you feel happier and more positive just by looking at it.

How to lose weight without busting the bank

The festive season can often add a few pounds and many people can come out of the other side with a desire and a resolution to lose some weight. Gym memberships, diets and sports equipment can be prohibitively expensive, however. So how can you lose weight in 2018 without busting the bank?

Wait for the sales

If you really don’t have the kit that you need to start exercising then you should hit the January sales and grab yourself a set of bargain trainers and some cheap running gear. Avoid all of the plastic tat that supposedly helps you to lose weight. You don’t need to waste cash on weights, foam rollers or any other equipment, you just need some suitable shoes and comfortable clothes to get out and do a bit of exercise.

Review your food budget

Your food budget may be tight, but reviewing what you spend and replacing items with others can ensure that you are able to eat better without adding to your bills. Use a process of replacement as you shop. Replace your white rice with brown rice, replace your chocolate bar with an apple and replace your breaded chicken with chicken breasts. These small changes won’t cost you any more, but they will rapidly cut the calories out and ensure that you’re getting a better balance of vitamins and minerals in your diet.

Take it slowly

The worst thing you can do to lose weight in the New Year is to dive in headfirst and try to change to a full paleo diet and join a gym. Such dramatic changes are almost impossible to see through to the end because these lifestyle changes are just too great and far too expensive! Instead, you should take it slowly. Gradually improving the quality of food that you eat through replacement and occasionally getting out of the house for a walk or jog will make a huge difference. You should set a target to go for a walk or jog for 30 minutes twice weekly. This is a small time sacrifice and it’ll be easy and free to do. With a little motivation, you’ll start dropping the pounds rapidly and you’ll start to love your exercising escapes too.

If you’re serious about wanting to lose weight in 2018, remember to start slowly and simply. Small health improvements will lead to bigger ones over time and a gradual reduction in weight will be far healthier and cheaper for you too!

Three budget ways to achieve your New Year’s resolutions

We all start to feel the pinch financially around Christmas time. While days of gift-giving, partying and indulgence all feel great at the time, we’re often left feeling a little tired, unhealthy and skint after the festive period. What’s more, we often put pressure on ourselves to shape up as part of our plans for the new year, taking out expensive gym memberships and embarking on expensive detox diets to counteract festive overindulgence. This does not have to be the case: the following tips should help you feel refreshed and healthy while saving your all-important pennies.

Ditch the alcohol

This may seem obvious, but cutting out alcohol is one of the cheapest ways to positively impact your health after a few overly boozy weeks. There are plenty of excellent free apps out there which will tell you how much money you save by going alcohol-free, as well as the great impact it has on your insides. Search them out on the app store to give yourself the motivation to forgo your favourite tipple.

Take up running

The temptation to take out a gym membership can be very strong at the start of January, as many gyms start aggressively advertising their services to the overfed masses. However, most memberships do not come cheap, and it is important to remember that exercise can be completely free. Running is a great way to burn off excess calories, and can even be enjoyable once you get into it. Perhaps put some running gear and trainers on your Christmas wish list to give you the motivation to get pounding the pavements come January.

Lower your meat consumption

A great way to detox your body and achieve weight loss goals is to take up a plant-based diet heavy in vegetables and grains. One of the best things about cutting out meat and focusing on being creative with vegetables is that it makes for a very cheap shopping basket. It is also much lower in calories and is even a great way of lowering your carbon footprint.

3 low cost winter day trips with the children

Winter is a time of year that brings families closer together. Children get time off school during the Christmas season and adults often get some much deserved time off too! This means it’s the perfect time to spend some quality family time together, but with December being one of the most expensive months of the year for everyone, it can often be difficult to think of things to do that won’t break the bank. We’ve put together some suggestions on low-cost winter days out with the children for you to try!

Winter walks

You can’t go wrong with a family winter walk. Wrap up warm, put your walking shoes on, pack a picnic and head off on a winter stroll. The views that winter brings us are spectacular and if you’re lucky enough to find some snow, it’s the perfect opportunity to build snowmen and engage in a classic snowball fight! End your day with hot chocolates and roast marshmallows around an open fire. This option will also help you get some exercise during the month where we all tend to overindulge!

Take a trip to the cinema

Often the winter season means more rain, so sometimes it’s good to spend some time indoors. Why not take a trip to the local cinema to watch a family-friendly movie? You often find that during the month of December, cinemas showcase extra viewing of Christmas classics on the big screen, such as Elf or Home Alone. A cinema trip doesn’t need to break the bank; search for vouchers online, or take advantage of family tickets or discounted days of the week.

Museum trips

Most museums around the UK are free to enter, including the fantastic Natural History Museum and Science Museum in London. These make for wonderful days out if the weather isn’t great and you’d rather stay indoors. Museums are filled with fun and interactive attractions for children, and the adults will find it interesting too! You can often spend a full day exploring just one or two.

If you’re interested in finding more tips on how to save money, then check out the Voucherism website.

Three fun ways to exercise without spending a penny

Exercise – it’s one of those things that most people either love or hate. Some get an endorphin rush just thinking about it and spend hours every day extolling its virtues, whilst others come out in a cold sweat the second the word ‘gym’ is mentioned.

Most of the time, those who fall into the latter category just haven’t found their perfect form of exercise. The tedium of running for hours on a treadmill doesn’t appeal to everyone, whilst splashing out for a gym membership is also distinctly lacking in attraction for many of those who want to shape up on a budget.

That’s why we’ve put together this list. Giving you three fun and free ways to exercise, we hope it will inspire you to get fit in a way that you actually enjoy without being out of pocket…

Go exploring with your dog

Walking tarmacked streets on a winter’s day with your nose running and rain dripping down the back of your neck is no one’s idea of fun, but getting out and about can still be a great way to get in shape. That’s why we recommend grabbing your dog’s lead and going exploring instead. Use Google Maps to find some nearby open spaces you’ve never ventured around before, preferably with lots of beautiful scenery to buoy your spirits and make walking a daily delight.

Take up hula hooping

If you’d rather stay indoors to exercise, why not invest in a hula hoop to use at home? Yes, it has a tiny initial outlay involved (although most parents will have one laying around already), but you won’t need to spend money on classes or travel elsewhere to practise. Simply wiggle your hips, get your body moving, and try to make doing so a daily part of your routine. Really don’t want to spend any money? Tie in some hula moves to a dance workout around the home! It’s a great way to get your hips moving while listening to music that makes you feel good.

Skip and slim

Last but not least, try to remember the raucous laughter and flushed cheeks that accompanied schoolyard skipping, and then tell us that a jump rope can’t be a fun way to get fit! If you have children, get them involved too. Group games are always enjoyable, as is a little healthy competition when it comes to seeing who can keep going the longest.

What’s your excuse? Get in shape today with these three fun ways to exercise.