Recent research has shown that around 15% of gym members sign up in January each year, but far less stick to their membership. Joining the gym can be superb for motivation to get off the sofa and make positive changes, but it isn’t for everyone and there are lots of other ways you can improve your fitness without an expensive membership!
According to the NHS, it is recommended that adults complete around 150 minutes of exercise every week – the good news is that brisk walking counts! As well as burning calories, a walk can help to increase your stamina and make your heart healthier. A brisk walk is around 3 miles an hour – if you can talk and walk at the same time but can’t sing without getting breathless, then you’re at the right speed.
As well as being free, you don’t need any fancy equipment; any shoes or trainers that are comfortable, provide adequate support and don’t cause blisters will do!
Free? ✅ No equipment required? ✅
Fancy a personal trainer, but can’t afford one? The NHS has a great Strength and Flex podcast which provides you with your own fitness coach for free! The virtual trainer coaches you through a series of equipment-free exercises designed to improve your strength and flexibility.
The workout instructions and pace are easy to follow to ensure you perform each exercise correctly and in time. The 5-week Strength and Flex plan consist of five 35- to 45-minute podcasts, which are available as a mobile download for MP3 players and smartphones here.
Couch to 5K
Free? ✅ Learn to run at my own pace? ✅
Couch to 5K (C25K) is a free running plan for absolute beginners. Running is great for weight loss, improving heart and lung function, strengthening bones, and giving you a general sense of wellbeing.
C25K involves 3 runs a week, with a day of rest between each and a different plan for each of the 9 weeks.
Download the C25K app here.
Of course, if you are ready to join a gym, go for it! The benefits of on-hand staff full of helpful tips, tricks and fitness knowledge to help guide you through your gym journey is a no-brainer! If you’re not sure if the gym is for you, or if you’ll keep it up beyond Pancake Day, why not try a membership-free gym, such as pay as U gym? They are the UK’s largest gym network with pay-as-you-go gym access and no contracts – you only pay when you use it!
Simply purchase your pass for your preferred gym online and scan the barcode from your phone when you arrive. Even better, when you purchase your pass via Give as you Live you’ll earn a whopping 7.5% for the charity of your choice >
Not yet a Giving Hero?
If you’re not a Give as you Live user yet, now’s the time to join! We need you to keep raising life-changing donations for FREE when you shop online. Take a look at the quotes from some of the charities we work with in blue – the amounts you raise when you shop quickly add up and become vital amounts for the charities to keep providing their services. Better yet, it costs you absolutely nothing – just a click onto our app or website before you make your purchase! Choose your charity and get fundraising today!