Many of us wish we lived a healthier lifestyle but putting it into practice can seem easier said than done. One of the main problems with exercise is finding the time to do it. This is especially true after a long working day, when all you want is your sofa, a nice cuppa and your favourite show on HBO or Netflix. Hey, no judgment from us, Game of Thrones, anyone?
There's also the issue of cost. From expensive gym memberships to getting the right workout gear, the price of living your best life can soon add up.
Fret not! We at Vanquis know your pain, and now it's time to gain with our top thrifty and time-saving fitness tips!
1. Take advantage of your colleague benefits!
All Vanquis employees get a range of health and wellbeing benefits as part of their role. One of these benefits is a subsidised membership fee at a Fitness First gym.
If pumping iron isn't your thing, don't worry. Chances are there'll be fun classes you can take part in at the gym. Go with friends or colleagues if this will keepp you motivated. Don't forget to check the gym's website as gym members are often entitled to even more savings and discounts on all kinds of items. These could include healthy meals, workout clothes and equipment, gifts and leisure activities.
2. Work out at home
Joining the gym isn't for everyone, luckily there are alternatives! Thanks to the internet, it's now easier and more fun than ever to work out at home.
Jump on YouTube and you'll find all kinds of workout videos to suit your fitness needs. For instance, you could try a yoga workout, walking exercise or a dance routine. Make a playlist and add your favourite videos so you can find them easily when it's time to get a sweat going on.
Putting extra effort into your housework can also count towards your fitness regime. Find ways to burn some extra calories during your next spring-clean.
Did you know you can often get great workout videos at your local charity shop? All kinds of workout DVDs wind up there, from zumba to yoga to aerobics.
3. Walk this way…
Walking is a great, moderate-intensity way to stay fit and healthy. A brisk walk that covers 4 miles in an hour can burn twice as many calories as a slow-paced walk that covers 2 miles per hour.
Walking to work is a great way to get some exercise into your daily routine. Check the weather forecast – if the sun's out this week, why not leave the house a little earlier than usual and get some steps in before work? You don't have to walk the whole way to work, either. Even walking halfway or getting off the bus two or three stops early can make a difference.
To make walking even more fun, load up your favourite songs or podcasts on your phone, or try an audiobook. Audible.com has promotional discounts all through the year and you can rent audiobooks for free from your local library. Check out walkit to find your quickest route to and from work.
If running is more your pace, you could try the NHS Couch to 5k plan. It's a free series of podcasts where a friendly lady called Laura guides your running routine. It starts off at an easy pace and increases in difficulty as the weeks progress.
4. I want to ride my bicycle!
If cycling's more your thing, then you could ride your bike to and from work. Not only is it a fantastic all-over workout, but you could save yourself hundreds of pounds in public transport or petrol costs over the year.
If you don't own a bike and don't have a lot of money to invest, try looking for a refurbished one at somewhere like cycle-recycle. You can sometimes get perfectly good bikes for as cheap as £25.
5. Get free gym equipment and bargains
If you're trying to build a home gym, then you don't need to pay through the nose to do it. Lots of people are desperate to get rid of their old gym equipment but may not have a local skip or charity shop to take it to (also, fly tipping isn't cool!).
In such cases, they'll often list their unwanted gym stuff on Freecycle or Freegle. This is great news for you, as it means you can find some real bargains to help you get ripped. These items are sometimes listed for free, providing that you come to collect it from the person's house.
Article by Vanquis and Step Change