Summer might be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean your workouts have to slow down. When autumn rolls around and the evenings get dark, it’s nice to head to a warm gym to keep fit. But what if you don’t fancy giving a third of your take-home pay to your local gym?
Never fear. There are alternatives that don’t involve fighting another gym-goer for the treadmill. You don’t even have to get dressed to try out kettlebell exercises at home in your pyjamas. Take your fitness to the next level and save pennies while you’re at it.
When you’re short on time and you don’t want to get dressed to workout, try kettlebell exercises at home. A kettlebell is a cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. You can use them for strength and cardiovascular exercise. Swinging a kettlebell around is seriously hard work. You’ll work up a proper sweat while burning calories and toning muscles.
Swimming pools can be pricey and they are often filled with screaming children. If you don’t mind braving the cold, find your local wild swimming spot and go for a dip. Hampstead Ponds is a famous wild swimming lake in London and is a lot cheaper than regular pool, at £2 a dip.
Swimming is a low-impact workout so it’s great if you are recovering from an injury, plus you’ll start to see your fitness improve in a whole new way. Take a look at the Wild Swimming website for local swimming ponds near you.
Plenty of cities have pay-as-you-ride bikes now, making it cheaper than ever to go cycling. It’s fantastic for building cardiovascular fitness and toning your muscles. Regular short cycle rides are the best way to get fit. Start biking twice a week and gradually build it up – before long you’ll be that person powering uphill on your bike with legs of steel.
Tennis doesn’t have to involve signing up to an expensive club. Whacking a ball around is one of the best ways to get fit while having fun. Tennis is all about quick explosive movements and dynamic strength, plus it builds stamina and encourages coordination. There are dozens of free access tennis courts around the country. Some even offer free coaching for families. Find your nearest free tennis court on the Tennis For Free website.
While not traditionally thought of as a fitness regime, yoga can be an intense workout if you practice the right style. Ashtanga and vinyasa style yoga not only stretches muscles but also strengthens your core and tones your upper and lower body. A one-hour vinyasa class burns nearly 600 calories. You can easily practice yoga at home by following YouTube videos or join a pay-monthly site. Try Yoga With Adriene’s 45-minute Power Yoga class for starters.
All you need to start running is a pair of trainers. The beauty of pacing pavements is you can do it anywhere – whether it’s on your commute to work or along the coastal path on holiday. Start with a short 10 minute jog and slowly build up to 30-40 minutes. Don’t berate yourself if you have to walk.
Just challenge yourself, next time, to run a little further. Running is the perfect fitness regime if you want to see results fast and it is totally free.
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It involves short bursts of exercise that you can do at home to build strength, stamina and increase your metabolism. Fitness Blender is one of our favourite YouTube channels for HIIT exercises. You can choose different length workouts, from quick 10-minute cardio sessions to kickboxing and skipping. You don’t need any special equipment and you won’t have to pay a penny. If the sun is shining, take that HIIT regime outside and do it in your local park.