Ditching the gym
Ever signed up to a health club membership with the best intentions, then found it restrictive and poor value for money?
We’ve all been there. It seems like a great idea at the time, then a few months later life gets in the way, the cost per visit is rising, yet you’re tied into a 12-month contract.
Here are my five tips on staying fit without forking out:
1. Go to pay-as-you-go classes. Digme Fitness is no-contract and we love it that way. You only pay for what you use, so no nagging voice in your head when another busy week passes by and you haven’t made it to the gym you’re paying for every month. Plus you get to try out different things, like that Pilates class you’ve always wanted to give a go, or that Bikram yoga you’ve always been curious about.
2. Get outside. Particularly at this time of year, it’s so easy to go for a run, walk or cycle. A bit of steady-state cardio – or even some sprint intervals if you’re feeling energetic – once or twice a week is a great way of maintaining a good fitness base. You could potentially incorporate it into your commute to work.
3. Create a mini home gym. All you need is a couple of cheap bits and you’re good to go. At Digme, our three favourite essentials are a kettlebell (there’s a wide range of weight and they’re great for both upper and lower body exercises), a skipping rope and a resistance band. If you’re willing to spend a little more, a TRX is a great investment and gives you a huge variety of exercise options.
4. Ditch all equipment and go bodyweight. You don’t need anything at all to stay lean and strong. Our favourite exercises are: burpees (yes they hurt but they’re oh so effective!), press-ups, squats, lunges and commando planks (where you go from plank to push-up and down again). Do each one for 20 reps and repeat 4-6 times. Job done. We’ll soon be putting together some videos with workout ideas, so stay tuned.
5. Stretch. The average person spends 45 minutes each day on social media. Why not instead spend a third of that time doing some stretching in front of the TV, or turn it off and relax your mind. Your body will definitely thank you. If you want to make it a bit more structured, there are several excellent websites where you can stream yoga tutorials.
So there you go, it’s that simple. I incorporate all of the above in my weekly training, using some basic equipment at home (I’ve got a yoga mat, a kettlebell and a few resistance bands) and taking guidance from online. I can recommend www.runsmartonline.com as a great resource for all things running – it has excellent programmes you can follow for core strength and flexibility. For yoga I like www.doyogawithme.com.
It really is a much better way of staying in shape than schlepping a mile and a half to my nearest gym or feeling guilty if I don’t make it.