How to get fit on a budget

How to Get Fit and Healthy [on a Budget] in 2020!

Posted on 28th December 2019

You shouldn’t need to break the bank to get fit and healthy.

Many people associate exercise believing they need expensive equipment or having a gym membership, but this is just not true. There are so many ways you can work up a sweat without it costing the earth.

We’ve all done it. We made a resolution and we want to get fit or in better shape for the new year. Some gyms see a 40% increase in traffic to their websites during the month of January as people’s good intentions lead to signing up for a gym membership.

Months later, the only thing that’s getting leaner is our bank balance because we’ve paid for expensive gym memberships but never actually went.

According to a study published in the Daily Mirror Online, the UK alone:

  • wasted £558 million on unused gym memberships each year
  • 1 in 10 Brits never stepped foot in a gym for over a year
  • only 21% visited used their gym membership three times a year

So, rather than fork out on a swanky new membership that locks you in for months, learn how to get fit fast in 2020 by using the tips below.

1. Find a trainer on YouTube

Video-sharing site YouTube is a hive of famous trainers who are desperate to feature their workouts for would-be fitness addicts. These fitness plans have all been created so you can get fit at home and if followed correctly, you’ll be fit within weeks!

Sounds easy enough, right?

Sometimes you may have to buy their DVD or some mats (you don’t want to be sweating on your floor), yet this will be considerably cheaper than purchasing a work out class.

Furthermore, if you felt you needed to go to classes, YouTube is great to attempt some of these classes before you decide to buy a whole range of exercise classes. Check out these leading UK fitness gurus:

2. Use an app to get fit

Smartphones today can do a plethora of fitness tasks, from counting steps, deliver timed workouts, BMI, weight and height metrics. Combine your smartphone with a fitness app and wearable fitness trackers like a Fitbit or Apple/Samsung and users can monitor their fitness goals.

Even free apps like NHS Couch to 5k can help you set a target to achieve and aid you in getting much fitter without having to purchase additional wearable equipment.

If you’re an appaholic, check out our budget planner saving apps post to find out how you can manage your money better this year.

3. Find a Green Gym

Maybe you are someone who prefers to combine healthy exercise and do some good simultaneously. If this sounds like you, then why not join the Conservation Volunteers at one of their Green Gym projects? Conservation Volunteers claims that participants could burn a third more calories per session than in an aerobics class.

How? Well, participants will be digging, planting trees, even hauling logs around. What’s more, this doesn’t cost anything plus you will be doing good for the community; at the same time as getting fit.

4. Use free outdoor equipment and go to the park

Nearly all local parks now have free outdoor gym equipment, with simple machines including static bicycles, cross trainers and shoulder presses. If you aren’t sure which parks have free gym equipment, then you can check Wicksteed, who design and build several of the gym parks around the UK and have a map on their website.

If you are not sure how to use this equipment or it is not for you then why not just use the park and go for a run? Running around a park is undoubtedly much more beautiful than running around the city (unless you happen to live in the idyllic countryside!).

5. Join and meet others in your community

Several exercise or hobby groups around the country are either free or very cheap to attend. Go online or check the local notice boards to see if there are classes or groups and how you can get join.

Another popular app MeetUp is excellent for finding such niche groups in your area – there is everything from running in a park to tai chi.

6. Contact your local authority for free classes or cheaper gyms

Local authorities have exclusive (and limited) deals on exercise classes and gym memberships for senior citizens or younger people, and maybe even some on benefits in an attempt to encourage society to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Even if your local council doesn’t have any free sessions their maybe a locally run gym that is definitely cheaper than private gyms and offers less onerous contract terms should you wish to cancel.

7. Take advantage of an employer’s gym benefits

Companies are commonly offering gym memberships to help their employees remain healthy and fit – after all, healthier employees are less likely to take time off for illness, meaning absenteeism declines and productivity increases.

So if you wish to go to a gym but cannot afford a membership, and you are employed at a larger company that offers gym memberships or an on-site gym – then time to get on the [exercise] bike and take advantage of a corporate gym membership.

8. Get the best-value gym membership

OK, so the 7 options above didn’t meet your fitness goals, and you feel really do need to pay for a gym membership. If so, do your research and select the right one. Plus, after the rush of new year’s resolutions on how to get fit in January, the rush dies down by February and gym owners are more flexible for haggling over a gym membership price.

When selecting a gym, factors to consider are which facilities will you actually use and which sound nice. For example, some gyms have swimming pools and steam rooms but will you actually use them after a workout or just hit the showers instead? Plus, check which gyms offer the best contract terms. Some may offer a cheaper rate, but you can only visit during so-called off-peak hours, or the lower price is linked to a six-month membership.

To find a gym near you why not use Gyms Near Me – simply enter your post code and a list of gyms local to you will be listed with reviews and prices. There are plenty of free trials and passes available so test a gym that suits your lifestyle and budget first before committing yourself.


Despite the fact that fitness can at times be expensive, trying to figure out how to get into shape on a budget may be tricky.

But, it doesn’t have to be and it shouldn’t keep you from getting fit and healthy.

Take advantage of a personal trainer from the comfort of your own home with YouTube, enjoy the fresh air and visit outdoor gym parks or use exercise as an opportunity to meet new people through community meet-ups.

Lack of budget is no longer an excuse to not getting into shape. Use 1, 2 or all 8 of these suggestions to live a happier, healthier life in 2020.

Author: Katre Kaarenperk-vanatoa

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