Before you buy that expensive gym membership, why not try a few free alternatives first? We’ve put together five ways to get fit that won’t cost you a cent.
1. YouTube yoga
That’s right, the internet can do anything – including help you get fit!
YouTube has a huge range of instructional videos that can guide you through yoga, strength, cardio and just about anything else. The beauty of the Youtube workout is that you can do it in your own time and in your home and at most, you might need some weights or a foam mat.
To get started, go to www.youtube.com and search for key words such as “yoga” or “workout.”
You could also try downloading a free fitness app to your phone. There are a lot of apps out there for Android and iPhone that can talk you through workout routines or measure your runs and walks. When looking for the right app, read the reviews and try a few out.
2. Get walking
It’s a great way to exercise but also a chance to spend time with your four legged friend, catch up on podcasts, or listen to your favourite music.
Walking is one of the easiest activities to incorporate into your day. For example, hop off the bus a few stops early and walk home, or go for a 20 minute walk on your lunch break.
3. Free group fitness
There are a number of free fitness activities run across Australia that can help you stay active and motivated. Here are a couple of examples for you to check out, but depending on where you live, you might need to do some research.
Parkrun Australia events are open to everyone and easy to join. Simply register online, print your barcode (so your run can be timed), and run 5kms with other like-minded people in your community. To see when and where there is a Parkrun near you, go to www.parkrun.com.au.
The Heart Foundation is the largest free community based walking network and offer walking groups all around the country. Find a group near you here.
4. Social sport
You can make exercise a fun weekend activity. Instead of meeting for drinks with friends, why not chat while walking around the park? Try new things, kick a ball, get out the Frisbee, hop on your bikes to a new picnic spot, or go to the beach for a swim.
If you want to meet new people, try looking for groups on www.meetup.com. There are hundreds of social sport groups across Australia, with everything from ocean swimming to badminton.
5. Fit exercise into your daily routine
It’s recommended that an adult accumulates 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, each week, according to the Department of Health.
So if you need to duck out to the shops, why not walk the scenic route and get an extra ten minutes of physical activity into your day? Take the stairs instead of the lift, do 20 star jumps every ad-break on television, or ride your bike to work once a week – because all of these activities can add up to your weekly goal.
When is a gym membership worth it?
Gym memberships can be great, if you use them. If you are planning on joining a gym, shop around for the best price, and take advantage of free trials to make sure the gym is a good fit for you.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the average Australian gym-goer spends around $72 per month on their membership but doesn’t turn up much. Gyms sell beyond their actual capacity, in some cases by thousands of people, because they know people won’t go.
If you’re having trouble staying motivated to go to the gym, consider trying something more social and fun, like a self-defence class or dancing lessons.
It might also be worth exploring what sporting clubs exist in your local area. Team sports can be a great way to meet people, learn new skills, and you’ve got a whole group of people relying on you to turn up to practices and games every week – so you’ve just got to go! There is usually an annual membership cost associated with sporting clubs, but it could work out to cost a lot less than a gym.