Erika D. White – Fitzone Photo Gallery
The secret to getting fit for free is to use every opportunity to be active.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to get more activity into your day, lose weight and become healthier. Research shows people who fit moderate activity like walking into their daily life burn more energy than those who make weekly visits to the gym.
Try to fit walking into your routine by ditching the car for short journeys, walking all or part of your journey to work, getting off the bus or train one stop early, and planning longer walks at the weekends.
- Find a walk near you
- Find out how to walk for health
Couch to 5K
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 well-being for photos in a photo gallery.
C25K involves 3 runs a week, with a day of rest between each and a different plan for each of the 9 weeks.
For graduates of C25K or regular runners, try 5K+, a running podcasts series designed to work on your technique, speed and stamina.
Strength and Flex workouts
Fancy a personal trainer, but can’t afford one? Download our Strength and Flex podcasts, and get your fitness coach for free. Let our virtual trainer coach 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 consists of five 35- to 45-minute podcasts, which are available as a mobile download for MP3 players and smartphones.
Cycle to work
Whether you’re cycling to work, school, the shops or just for fun, the humble bicycle is an easy way to get more active.
Cycling to work is one of the easiest ways of fitting exercise into your day. It’ll also save you money on petrol or public transport costs. If you don’t have a bike, you may be able to get a cheap bike through the Cycle to Work scheme.
If you’re looking for an easy way to add more activity into your day, take the stairs. Stair climbing burns more calories per minute than jogging and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.
Research shows regularly taking the stairs is good for strong bones, cardiovascular fitness and weight management. It’s also a safe, low-impact exercise that requires no equipment.
Burn calories, lose weight and feel great with our selection of equipment-free home workout routines:
choose from six 10-minute home workouts to improve your general fitness and tone your tummy, legs, arms and buttocks
take it up a notch with our selection of gym-free workouts to improve cardio, strength and general fitness
If you’re looking for something less energetic, try:
- sitting exercises
- strength exercises
- balance exercises
- flexibility exercises
Military-style fitness classes
Military-style fitness classes are happening in parks up and down the country. There’s no reason why you can’t create your own boot camp-style workout for free and without someone barking orders at you.
Just plan your routine, mixing running with a series of exercises like jumping jacks, squats, lunges, running up and down stairs, press-ups, bench dips and squat thrusts.
Do a bit of research online to make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly before starting out. For extra motivation, try to enrol a friend to do the boot camp sessions with you.
People often give away fitness gear, such as weights, skipping ropes or exercise balls. They are the kind of things people buy with high hopes and the equipment then lies around gathering dust.
Check community freebie sites such as LetGo, Freecycle and Craigslist, and send emails saying you’re looking for exercise equipment. Search regularly and you might get lucky.
Another option is to swap your own unwanted exercise gear for some different sports equipment using websites like Swapz.
The idea of walking up to a group of strangers during a game of soccer and asking to join in may sound slightly unnerving but, provided you can work up the bottle, this is both an excellent way to get fit and make friends.
Choose a group of players of a similar age and ability who seem like they’re just starting their game. If the game’s already started, the goalkeeper is probably the best person to approach. More often than not, you’ll be welcomed and it will open up the possibility of getting a regular game and a free workout.
Contact your local authority
Your local fitness center may well be offering initiatives such as free exercise classes or a free swim on certain days of the week to encourage people to get in shape.
Many authorities also have outdoor gyms, which include much of the same equipment found in an indoor gym, as well as basketball hoops, tennis courts and football pitches that you can use free of charge. You may also be entitled to free leisure services if you’re under 16 or over 60, or receive benefits.