If you’re looking to lose some weight without your wallet becoming too much lighter, we’re here to help.
Here are a handful of ways to save some cash whilst getting fit.
Pay as you go
If you’ve decided to join a gym, chances are you’ve already mentally planned to hit it five, six, seven times a week. Am I right?
Although monthly gym deals might seem appealing, with their countless classes in sports we’ve never heard of and ‘access all areas’ (sauna, jacuzzi, steam room etc) deals, you need to bear in mind whether you’ll be getting ripped, or just ripped off.
While optimism is great, it’s not ideal where money’s concerned. And let’s be honest, you probably have a good idea whether your positive thinking is misplaced or not.
If you’re more of a ‘thought that counts’ type of person or you’re just not sure whether a regular gym membership would fit with your routine, you could trial it on a pay as you go basis. Some gyms like Pure Gym and The Gym Group don’t tie you into a contract so would be perfect. Both chains are open 24/7 and have sites based up and down the country.
For other flexible gym choices, check out payasugym.com. When you register you get given options to either go once, in five time bundles or sign up for a month or three months at a time. They guarantee that it’s always cheaper than going direct to the gym (or they give you the difference back).
If you do decide to bite the bullet and go for a full gym membership, you need to make sure you get the most out of it.
If you see a better deal elsewhere or online for a nearby gym, see if you can wangle the same deal with the one you want to go to. For the sake of a five-minute conversation, you could save yourself a packet over a 12-month membership.
Also, it pays to find out if your work can aid your workouts. Many jobs, especially those in public services like the NHS, offer a staff discount. It’s common for students to get discounts on gyms too. So if you’re entitled to it, make sure they know about it.
If you want to commit to the gym but not sign up for 12 months, you may be able to do this on a rolling contract. So if you’re moving house in the coming months or just want to go over the summer to get your beach body, you could do it on a month-by-month Direct Debit or standing order and cancel it when you’re ready. This can be a little bit more expensive because you pay for the flexibility of cancelling at any time. Nuffield Health and LA Fitness are among those offering such deals.
Drop and give me 20!
If you want to make the most of the British summer and top up on your Vitamin D whilst working out, boot camps are a great way of getting fit, getting outside and making friends.
But be prepared.
I’m not going to lie – they can be really (really!) tough. But no pain no gain, right? And that’s why they come with an air of camaraderie and why they’re a great place to meet likeminded mates. There are loads of boot camp/military fitness companies and classes popping up these days and many with good deals too.
Keep a look out on discount sites too like Groupon. It’s common for them to offer 10-class deals or similar, so keep your eyes peeled if this is something you’d be interested in.
Bring the gym to your living room
If you’re busy and struggle fitting the gym or a regular boot camp around your routine, you could see results from a fitness DVD instead.
There are countless advertised on telly (every female celebrity seems to have one! Davina McCallM, Natalie Cassidy, Roxy Shahid just to name a few) and they can be especially useful if you prefer to be more subtle about your workouts. So if getting red, sweaty and yelled at to ‘give me 20’ at a boot camp is a turn off, turning a DVD on could be more up your street.
And for the sake of a tenner or so, you can use it whenever you like in the comfort of your own home (and in the comfort of your PJs too if you like).
The great outdoors
If staying in for a workout isn’t appealing, let’s not forget that the great outdoors is free and open 24/7. So if you’re sick of seeing guys in the gym beefing up their guns or scantily clad grandmas getting changed after a swim, why not take yourself outside?
For the sake of splashing out on a pair of trainers or walking boots, you can go running or hiking whenever you like without taking a hit to the wallet. Not surprisingly (judging by the name) Go Outdoors sell some great stuff for al-fresco exercise. If running’s your thing, there will also be a Park Run near you. This is a free timed 5k, with race results published afterwards, so they’re great if you’re training for an event or just want to check how you’re improving. It means getting up early on a Saturday morning but it’ll be worth it.
If running’s not your thing, there’s always cycling. It’s free, healthy and practical and with summer on the way, it could also be a really fun way of getting around too. Again it’ll be an upfront cost if you don’t have a bike but it’s an investment in the long term. USA Cycling has loads of resources and information on clubs based around the USA.
Whether you’ve got plans to hit the gym, get up and outside, or would rather shove a DVD on when you’ve got an hour to spare, just spend a bit of time first thinking how you might be able to save yourself a bit of cash. Anything extra is money you can treat your new (trimmer) self to as a reward for all your workouts.