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Fitness minus a membership

13/12/2019

Ways that you can incorporate fitness into your lifestyle without paying for a hefty gym membership fee.

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The lead-up to summer is an ideal time to focus on your health and fitness. With the warmer weather and extended daylight, it’s a great time to get outside and be more active.

Investing in your health and fitness doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on going to the gym when there are other ways to incorporate fitness into your lifestyle.

Walk more 

Walking is low-impact and suitable for people of all fitness levels. You can do it anywhere, and it’s completely free. Just adding a 10-minute walk into your daily routine can make a difference.

If you normally take public transport into work, consider getting off a stop earlier to squeeze a walk into your morning. Or simply park further away from work. If you live close to your kids’ school, think about walking the school drop-off instead of relying on your car.

Dog owners are at a bit of an advantage here, as daily dog walking is an excellent opportunity to squeeze some extra exercise in. If you don’t have a dog, you could offer to walk a friend’s dog or use an app that connects pet owners with dog walkers.

When you have a little more time, like on the weekend, try to find the time for a longer walk. Arrange to have a walk with a friend instead of meeting for coffee and take advantage of coastal tracks, bushwalks or parks in your local area.

Join a community class 

If you find solo exercise a bit boring, you may get on better in the supportive environment of a group class. Gym exercise classes can be expensive, but there are lots of cheap and free alternatives.

An excellent way to meet new people and explore your local area is to get involved with a weekly parkrun event. Even if you’re not an avid runner, the 5km course is open to people of all abilities and you’ll be able to track your progress each week as your fitness increases.

Some yoga instructors will also occasionally hold classes for a gold coin donation. Try searching local Facebook groups, checking community notice boards and ask around if any independent gyms in your area offer cheap classes you can join in on.

If you’re close to the beach and a confident swimmer, ask your local surf club if there are any regular swim groups you could join, or check out if any local gyms offer a swim fit class in the summer you can attend on an ad hoc basis. If you’re not close to the coast, drop by your local pool to see if they run any regular sessions.  

Let's get digital

These days you don’t even have to leave your home to join an exercise class.

There are plenty of online sites that offer unlimited classes in various types of exercise (yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, aerobics and more) for a small monthly fee. If you don’t have the money to spare, check out YouTube for free resources.

Don’t have the time to squeeze a whole workout into your day? Search your phone for free apps that will give you exercises you can do around the house or on your break at work.

Focus on wellbeing 

It’s important to look at the overall picture of improving your health and building regular exercise into your lifestyle, rather than focusing on short-term outcomes.

Make sure your goals are realistic and fit into your lifestyle – don’t set yourself the aim of running a marathon if you hate running. Take the time to find something you enjoy and that slots into your work and home life easily.

Look at your lifestyle as a whole and see where you can make other improvements. This might be something as simple as reducing your amount of screen time, going to bed earlier, or making sure you leave the office for your lunch break instead of eating lunch at your desk.

These small changes can add up to a big difference in your overall health and wellbeing, just make sure you run any major changes by your doctor first. Focus on one small goal at a time, and you’ll soon find you’re feeling the benefit of these healthy habits.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication. We do not recommend any third party products or services and we are not liable in relation to them. Any links to third party websites are for your information only and we do not endorse their content.

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