Posted by Katie
I must admit, the days running up to this fitness challenge were a bit like Mardi Gras in my house: between Friday night and Sunday, I had pizza, doughnuts, fish and chips, chocolate covered strawberries, tacos and ice cream. At one point, I wondered if it would descend to me adding sugar to my water and butter to my coffee; “Just relax into this diet of pure fat and sugar,” my mind was telling me. “It’s so tasty.”
Fortunately, there is no fitness like public fitness and I’d already committed myself to blogging a month of exercise, which I hate. Don’t get me wrong, I love activity – but I can’t think of anything worse than spending an hour on a treadmill.
Part of my loathing of exercise is the lack of places for me to do it affordably. I’m hyper mobile in all joints and previous stints of attempted running left me wheelchair-bound until corrective surgery. So my options for fitness are Pilates, swimming and cycling.
All of these require either tuition or equipment – and none of them come cheap.
I’ve always resented the fact that gyms essentially charge you to change your mind – those annual contracts sting if your circumstances change. Fortunately, the gym closest to me offers a £40 for a month offer, which is just about the best price going. I’ll be chatting to LA Fitness later this week to see what they could do for a couch potato on a budget.
Next on the list is the Westminster community pool, where a swimming-only membership costs £27 and provides discounts on classes, which would be handy if they had Pilates. Otherwise a swim is £4.60 a go.
The only other community pool I know of in central London is the YMCA, but it is rather far to get to from Victoria for the pool alone. But if I want to learn proper Pilates and not spend £50 a lesson, I may have to trek over as it only costs £12 for non-members. Membership to the gym isn’t that great a deal as it only gets you £2 off Pilates classes, and even without, the rates aren’t really affordable to many working adults. The annual contract works out to be £588, or £1018 if you wanted to attend one Pilates class a week.
But I think I’ve found an affordable option: the Danceworks Studio near Bond Street offers classes for £10 – and I don’t have to sign my life away to get a lesson. I figure if I stick to one Pilates class a week and swim each day at the community pool, I can get through this week spending only £33.
If I survive all of this health, that is.
Do you have any fitness tips for city-dwellers? Post a comment and let me know.