When on the journey to peak fitness or when trying to maintain a consistent level of fitness, it can feel like your only option is ongoing expensive gym memberships that inspire you to keep turning up. However, with the cost of living constantly on the increase and stagnating job wages, affording long-term gym memberships can make each month feel uncomfortably tight. Especially if you are someone that tries to enjoy a quality, nutritious diet with expensive vegetables and choice cuts of protein. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to gym memberships that will still see you getting a comprehensive work out from head to toe;

Home Gym

The best alternative to a monthly gym contract is to create your own home gym. Commercial equipment is expensive, but you don’t need the top-of-the-range gear to enjoy a personal workout in your own home. You could get started with some second-hand equipment, or invest in higher quality renovated equipment including your own refurbished treadmill which can be conveniently folded or a remodelled exercise bike. If this equipment still falls outside your budget and second-hand equipment doesn’t appeal to you, consider swapping around the types of exercises you normally power through. Invest in a quality weight set, alongside a firm resistance band and a compact elliptical trainer and you’ll have more than enough to get a full routine planned.

Community Shared Gym Space

Is your gym always overcrowded? Or are you having to deal with some selfish gym users who never clean up their area or put equipment back properly? Consider getting together with some friends or work-out buddies and creating your own shared gym space. You’ll have a bit more budget to work with and can make use of an unused space such as a spare room or garage space. Not only a great way to still get the inspiration of working out around others, a community gym space shared with a trusted group can make it an all-round nicer space to exercise in, while sharing ideas and routines with each other. 

Making Use of the Outdoors

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We might be heading into the coldest months of the year but with a few extra layers (and plenty of activity!) you’ll hardly notice the cold. Get outdoors and make the world your playground, with sports grounds for hire to have a game of football with friends to community designed running tracks that take you through scenic areas. Not only can you discover some beautiful local spaces that you’d otherwise pass over for the gym, you’ll meet others that can help with your outdoor routine and discover a newfound interest in the outdoors. Come the spring you can trade runs in fresh winter air for stunning hiking trails and even explore an interest in outdoor excursions such as climbing, biking and water sports – all of which will work every muscle group!

Start a Full-Body Hobby

Hobby and club memberships are usually much cheaper than a gym membership but offer a whole world of possibility. From learning to scale rock-climbing walls safely and quickly to qualifying in a martial art. An active hobby or club will see you learning new skills, meeting new interesting people and giving your body a full-workout – potentially more-so than you’d experience in the gym! Here are some ideas for you to start exploring for yourself;

Rock Climbing – Once you’ve started, it’s hard not to fall in love with this empowering hobby. Even if you don’t feel confident in yourself as a climber, you’ll never experience a more exhilarating feeling than getting to the top of the wall. Explore local groups for indoor rock-climbing spots and get started with a beginner’s lesson where you’ll learn how to safely wear a harness, how to safely clip yourself in and how to belay with others. Once you’ve got a bit of confidence, give ‘bouldering’ a go, which is a more extreme type of rock-climbing – using no harness! Make sure if you do give bouldering or rock-climbing a try, you do so in a safe, dedicated environment with trained professionals available to help where necessary. 

Mountain Biking – Love getting on the exercise bike but wish it offered more than a picture of other sweaty gym attendees? Mountain biking is your path to extreme exercise biking, working all your muscles including your core and providing plenty for your brain to enjoy from navigating routes to soaking in those spectacular panoramic views once you’ve reached the top. You’ll need your own equipment to make this a regular hobby but there are plenty of day excursions that allow you to get to grips with a mountain bike and see if it’s the right activity for you. 

If in Doubt, Dance

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Ever come back from a night on the dancefloor and realised just how exhausted you are? That’s the secret of so many dancer-cise groups you can find today, from Zumba and Salsa to Pole-Dancing and Jazz-ercise. Once the music gets going, it’s easy to forget how much you are working your body and simply go with the flow, dipping and spinning and getting your heart pumping. Whether you prefer the jungle rhythms of an Afro-Caribbean beat or the enjoy the Latin tones of Salsa, there’s a music style and accompanying dance for you. Join in your local dancercise group or start your own from the comfort of your living room, the choice is yours!

As we are all trying to cut back on monthly outgoings, reducing necessary bills becomes tricky as you find the best deals or run out vouchers to use on your monthly shop. You might be left thinking where else you can save a bit of cash. Ditch the pricey gym membership and enjoy using the world as your workout playground, you might find a new hobby or interest or even meet people you’ve never had a chance to before!