Friday, 13 January 2017

Get fit for free!

workout, healthy, stability ball,
Join the Julia Buckley
online gym for free (yes FREE!).
At this time of year everyone wants to start healthy habits but not everyone has the cash to splash on a gym membership or personal trainer. Particularly right after the expense of Christmas! And if you've failed to keep up with a fitness plan in the past you might also be reticent to start paying to work out if you think you might renegade later. (but you won't this time - will you? Because you've read this!).

Thankfully not all exercise plans come with a price tag. And if you can get a taste for the good life for free - why not take it? What have you got to lose?

Here are some top training ideas that won't cost you a penny:

1. A free online gym

In case you missed it, I'm part of personal trainer Julia Buckley's Fitness Rockstars collective - a group of people with a mission to make the world a healthier, happier place. Julia runs an online gym that offers workouts, classes, programs and coaching. The workouts are easy-to-follow but hard enough to make you sweat - and the usual excuses that might keep you from a gym class or a run just don't apply (can't fit it in around work/kids/other responsibilities, don't like other people to see me, waiting in for a delivery etc etc). And as part of the deal I have a link that allows you to sign up to Julia's Online Gym completely FREE of charge. Click here and try out the workouts for yourself. 

2. A month of fitness

Fitness fashion brand Sweaty Betty often has free fitness classes running it its nationwide stores - with accompanying videos on its site. Right now however you can join in with its '31 days to fit' program that features workouts, recipes, tips and challenges. You can download a PDF of the overall program here and then tick off the days as you complete them. All the info you need is on this page - where you can follow links to the videos and posts you'll need. You can also go backwards and forwards through the program and play catch up if you need to - or just be plain nosey!

workout, healthy weight loss
Join Sweaty Betty for
your fittest New Year yet.

3. The free 5k 

Last year Stoke Gifford parish council hit the headlines when it tried to start charging runners that attended the regular parkrun held there. It clearly didn't realise that the basis of this global phenomenon is that no-one should ever have to pay to go running in their community regularly, safely and for fun. Thankfully the furore that surrounded the Little Stoke parkrun helped to galvanise the movement - and parkruns happen up and down the country every weekend without participants having to delve into their pockets. The concept is quite simple - everyone is welcome for the regular timed 5k run (2k if you're a junior). It doesn't matter if you're fast or slow, a newbie or a pro, there for fun or there for a personal best - you just register - and turn up!

4. Advice costs nothing

The NHS isn't just there to treat you when you're ill! In fact, it would help the budgets a lot if we could all be healthier in the first place (understatement!!!!). Accordingly the Live Well hub has everything you could need to improve your health with lifestyle advice, nutrition tips, exercise plans and help for those who want to give up smoking and cut down on things such as sugar and alcohol. in fact it covers over 100 topics on healthy living! It also features the incredibly popular and successful nine-week Couch to 5k running plan. For a list of free workouts and plans from Live Well, click here.

yoga with kids
Yogaia - classes to fit around you...
and your family!

5. Stretch without spending

The words yoga and flexible are a natural fit - and so it is with Yogaia - an online yoga school. As a member, you have unlimited access to hundreds of live and recorded classes (including all types of yoga, Pilates, workouts, meditation and talks) via the web, the app or even Apple TV - as and when you need them. The live classes also offer you the option of getting interactive with your webcam on (but you can keep it off and still practice with your teacher in real-time!). Full access to the subscription-based service isn't free but if you sign up, you can try out a selection of pre recorded classes without a charge - and there's still an amazing selection to help you decide if this is your thing.

Even better, readers of this blog can currently get use the code VANESSA2017, which gives you a free 14-day trial membership. The code is valid for new customers until end of February 2017. Using this code you can join all Yogaia recordings and live classes, but won't have web cam access. There's no credit card required to sign up - and no commitment to continue membership after the free trial. For a quick sign up to the free two weeks - click here.

So, you can be fit and frugal!