2021: Five ways to keep fit for free this year!
If you are determined to get fit this year, you are not alone. According to YouGov, almost one in five people in the UK intended to make resolutions for 2021, and the top three resolutions on the list were related to health and fitness:
- 53% of us plan to do more exercise and improve fitness;
- 48% of us want to lose weight;
- 39% intend to improve our diet.
But now that we are in lockdown yet again, how easy will it be to do more exercise? Gyms, pools and other sporting facilities are closed. Organised outdoor sports are cancelled, and we are only allowed to exercise outdoors once a day either by ourselves or with one other person.
It can be hard enough sticking to resolutions without these additional complications.
So what can we do?
Here are five ways that you can still keep fit during lockdown. Even better, they are all ways that you can keep fit for free!
Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise, and can easily be incorporated into your everyday life. You can go out walking to explore all those local places that you have never got round to seeing. All you need is a comfortable pair of boots or sturdy shoes, and a warm, ideally waterproof, coat.
As well as helping to keep you fit, going for a long walk is a great way to clear your head and help to restore a sense of calm. Walking can also be a practical way of getting out to do essential errands, such as shopping, posting items or collecting prescriptions.
Even when you are at home, walk around as much as possible. If you are working from home, make sure you take regular breaks to move around. Even just the act of standing up for periods throughout the day instead of just sitting all the time can help to lower blood sugar levels and blood fats, and increase the amount of HDL (“good” cholesterol) in the bloodstream.
Run for your life
Many people assume that they could never be a runner. But most people can. Even if you have previously tried running and not got very far, it may be worth having another go. It’s a sport that you can do anywhere and anytime you like, and mostly for free. The only thing that you really need to spend money on is a decent pair of running shoes. Apart from that, it really doesn’t matter what you wear, particularly when you are starting out.
If you want to try running then a good place to start is the Couch to 5K (C25K) programme. This 9-week programme helps you to gradually work up from running for 1 minute to running for 30 minutes.
Get on your bike
Another increasingly popular form of exercise is cycling. During the first lockdown, it was encouraged by the government both as good exercise and also a possible alternative to public transport. Plans are in place to create more facilities for cycling safely, particularly in cities and towns.
If you do not have a bike then it is worth looking at local selling sites such as Facebook Marketplace, adverts in shop windows, and also Freecycle. You should be able to pick up a bike very cheaply or even for free.
If you already have an old bike, then it may be possible to get help to repair it. During 2020 the government launched a Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme, which enabled people to apply for a voucher of up to £50 to put towards the cost of repairing their bike. The scheme is likely to run again in 2021, so keep any eye on the website for further updates.
Once you have a working bike you will have the freedom to go for cycle rides for exercise, and also to use your bike for errands and perhaps for all or part of your commute.
One of the most memorable aspects of the first UK lockdown was the daily online PE lesson run by Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach. These online PE lessons are running again during this lockdown on Joe Wicks’s YouTube channel at 09:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They are not just for kids – anyone can join in and benefit from the structured exercise they provide.
If you prefer a different form of exercise then just search Youtube for whatever type of exercise interests you. There are a lot of resources out there and you are bound to find something that works for you, and that you can do at your own pace at a time that suits you.
Once you are familiar with a type of exercise then you can go it alone and make up your own routine. The same applies if you enjoy dancing. Either way, just put on your favourite music and get doing those moves!
If you are a gym bunny and are missing getting to the gym then you can create your own at home. If you enjoy using gym equipment it’s worth keeping an eye on sites such as Freecycle, where you may be able to get second hand gym equipment for free. If there is something specific you are after, try putting a Wanted ad on there. The very thing you need may be sitting in someone’s garage waiting to be got rid of.
You can also be creative and design some improvised circuit training at home that doesn’t need any specialist equipment. Tins can be used instead of weights, the living room carpet is a great place for press ups, planks and stomach crunches, door lintels make great grips for pull ups; and who needs a step machine when there is a perfectly good set of stairs in your hall?
You can add a bit of challenge to your home gym routines by using one of the many fitness apps that are available. These can help you to set goals and track progress, even if you are not in a proper fitness setting..
We hope that the above ideas help you to start getting fit for free in 2021. But if you do decide to invest in some equipment then a short term personal loan from Simple Fast Loans may be able to help you.
All the very best with your fitness goals for 2021, and remember to check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Simple Fast Loans.