Fitness challenge: Fit and Frugal!

August is here – I can’t believe how fast this year is going by – and already I am limbering up for a new month-long challenge. But this time I won’t be going it alone. MSN Money’s Katie Fluke is also taking part.

MSN have challenged us both to get fit on a budget. The idea is to explore how much it costs to get a beautiful bod in the city versus the country. Katie, who lives in London’s big smoke, will be representing the city in the contest and yours truly the country, so we will be pitted ruthlessly against each other!

The aim of the challenge is to get the healthiest body mass index or BMI on the lowest budget – not necessarily an easy task considering the shocking price of gym membership these days and the busy life many of us lead. Over the month we will be exploring all manner of ways to get fit, from joining the gym, trying out home-based fitness strategies, such as pilates balls, trampettes etc. and all that nature’s gym has to offer. What’s more, we’ll be looking at the hidden extras you wouldn’t necessarily expect to have to pay out for.

I have to admit this is going to be a tough task for me. Since I left school and the clutches of our wonderfully terrifying PE teacher Mr Stallard, my life has been that of a confirmed couch potato – interrupted only by a brief spell of gym membership three years ago which lasted all of two months. In a moment of madness I joined the former Holmes Place and membership was subsidised through my old job. But I only attended some tai-chi classes and swam about in the pool a bit before dropping out. I couldn’t muster the courage to brave the multi-gym complex on my own, fearing it would be full of lycra-clad, muscle-bound beauties, and although the gym arranged an induction for me, the instructor didn’t show up and I cowardly didn’t arrange another one. In the end, work got busy, the nights grew dark and dreary and I just couldn’t get the gym to fit into my routine. So, realising I was wasting £36 a month too, I dropped out.

This time around, though, I have a more flexible routine because I work from home, and so there are no more excuses not to get fit, whether that means finding a low cost gym or skipping around my back garden for free. So if you’ve got any tips do let me know!

Are you into health and fitness? How do you get fit? Do you think gym membership is too expensive or do you get what you pay for? Have you found cheaper ways to get the body beautiful? Leave a comment and let me know.

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8 Responses to Fitness challenge: Fit and Frugal!

  1. Old says:

    getting fit can be cheap – a regular walk / jog / run – can even turn exercise into a day out – an afternoon walking in the forest or park can be exercise and entertainment.  Use you local swimming pool – swimming is a great all round exercise.  Buy a gym ball – available fr less then a tenner and often come with a set of exercises to go with them.  Any more fitness advice gimme a call

  2. Christine says:

    Walk plenty every day – you could try being a volunteer dog walker at an animal rescue centre if you need a reason to walk. Or you could get a paper round and get paid for walking daily. Or get a hoola hoop (yep adults do it) and have some fun. Get weighed at your local doctor\’s surgery – the practice nurse will have dietary advice on hand to help you make sure you are eating sensibly. Costs nothing that advice. You\’ll be able to find out if there are walking groups locally that you can join (many cost very little for pleasant walking in good company) and what other cost effective exercise there is local to you.You haven\’t got time to run an allotment full time like me – daughter says if I gave up the weekly cream tea, ice cream off the van at the allotment, cans of coke and chocolate I\’d be both fit and slim (she should know, she deals with GP referrals for older people who need to take exercise as part of her work). Hmm – I\’m fit just not slim enough and now you know why. Practice nurse said something similar.

  3. piper says:

    Thanks guys. Great ideas. Walking really appeals more than the gym although I\’m going to try lots of different things to see what sticks.
    Somehow I can\’t get the image of you in a hoola hoop out of my mind, Christine!

  4. Rachael says:

    iv just realised that the people below have already suggested what i was going to suggest..
    I think running is great, especially in the outdoors as you feel more refreshed afterwards.
    you could also get dance/fitness/pilates DVD\’s as they are cheaper than going to classes, although there arent as good as the real thing.

  5. Nina says:

    And don\’t forget you are more than welcome to walk my dogs ;)!

  6. Adrianne says:

    I agree that working out does not have to include a gym membership. With all the online support groups that are available to people who need some extra help maintaining a workout routine, going to the gym should be a thing of the past.

  7. robertta says:

    My fitness routine is 1) a mini trampoline  £18.99 (Argos)
                                  2)a heart rate montitor £12.99(Aldi)
    I love the flexibility of working out at home.  On beautiful days, I take it outdoors and do a powerwalk or a Jog, in our local park. after about 45mins the endorphins really start flowing.
    I also use weights, and inorder to use proper form, I use a couple of DVDs I got off ebay.
    I could never imagine joining a Gym to stay fit and fab when I can do it the way I am.
    The trampoline is awesome for Cardiovascular conditioning.  I groove to music on my Mp3 player, with an eye on my HR monitor to make sure I am working within my target heart rate zone, I get an awesome workout without any impact to my joints and the time flies since its all done to music I love.

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