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How to get fit without a gym membership

Money Bites Get fit without a gym membership
We show you how you can get fit without a costly gym membership.

Bite-Size Read:

  • 27% of us barely use the expensive gyms we paid for, which adds up to $1.8 billion in wasted fees each year.
  • If you know that you use a gym regularly, it’s possible to save money and get fit without a gym membership.
  • Try using bodyweight exercises, building walking into your daily routine, or looking to YouTube for inspiration.


Many of us consider joining a gym the first step towards getting fit.

The problem is that most of us stop there. We don’t get full value from the gym, with 27% of gym membership owners barely using their membership, which adds up to a waste of $1.8 billion annually.  

Gyms are also getting more expensive, with basic gym memberships costing hundreds of dollars per year. If you use your gym all the time and get value from it, that’s excellent. However, if you know that you won’t use your expensive gym membership or can’t afford it, this is for you. We’ve identified our top tips to help you get fit without joining a gym and signing up for an expensive membership plan.


Here’s our Top 10 tips to get fit without a gym membership:


1. Use your bodyweight if you don’t have equipment

There’s plenty of exercises you can do without equipment. Doing rounds of bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, and bicycle crunches are a great way to start. Bodyweight exercises are both a strength and cardio exercise so can be a great exercise option.


2. Build walking into your daily routine

Walking is one of the best full‑body exercises you can do. Building it into your routine could include walking in the morning, listening to your favourite podcast. You could also walk to work or walk part of the way to build exercise into your daily commute. 


3. Set a goal for what you want to achieve

It can be difficult to get into an exercise routine if you don’t know why you’re doing it. Establish your end-target to work towards. This could be competing in an event like a half marathon or trying to exercise for 20 minutes every day.


4. Get a bike to replace your car

A bicycle can be a great way to get around your city. You can rent a bike from your city bicycle scheme or buy one second-hand to save money. It also means that you’ll save money on petrol by commuting via bicycle rather than using your car.


5. Use the stairs for cardio

Stair climbing is a great way to build leg strength. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work or at your local park. Set yourself a stair sprint routine and make use of this free gym.


6. Establish a routine to follow each day

Daily routines are useful for building new habits. Write yourself a strength or cardio circuit that you accomplish at a specific time each day. This could be as simple as writing up a short circuit of bodyweight exercises. You could then perform the circuit when you wake up in the morning as a consistent routine.


7. Look to YouTube for inspiration

YouTube is a fantastic source of free content. Many fitness influencers and personal trainers like Joe Wicks provide free content on YouTube, including live fitness classes. You can also check the correct form for exercises like push-ups by seeing how experts perform these routines.   


8. Try a jump rope cardio routine

If you want an intense cardio workout, grab a jump rope, and try skipping. It will take time to work up to jumping rope but is worth mastering for a great cardio routine.


9. Fitness equipment provides more exercise options

While you could undertake bodyweight exercises, you might want more of a challenge. You can buy specific fitness equipment like light dumbbells or a stability ball for more exercise options. If you have more money to spend, you could buy an exercise bike or treadmill or pick one up second-hand.


10. Download a fitness app to monitor your progress

A fitness app can be a great way to check how you’re progressing with your fitness goals. Depending on the program you pick, this app can be a virtual personal trainer. Everyone from Chris Hemsworth to Serena Williams has a routine on a fitness app you can follow right now.


You can have a hard-core workout without paying hard-core gym prices.

Many gym-goers love their gym and use it every day. But if you want to save money and still get fitter, there are a number of ways you can still do this without paying gym fees.

Written by Kate Crowhurst

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