How to get fit for free

Posted 5 Jan 2021

Okay, so it's been said a million times. The classic New Year, new me. But after the year we’ve all had, 2021 is going to be different. Yes, we may be in a national lockdown for a couple of months, but let's think of this down time as a chance to work on our personal goals. Given that half of UK Brits choose to get fit as their New Year's resolution, we thought we’d give you a helping hand. And what better way to give you absolutely zero chances of backing down, than by selecting our top ways to get fit, for free! 

And no, we're not suggesting you raid your cupboard for baked bean tins, water bottles and other household items to replace hand weights. Although, come to think of it…

Free Online Classes

2020 taught even the most technophobic of us how to press a few buttons and hop onto a Zoom quiz. Thankfully, this should’ve improved our abilities enough to access free online exercises classes, which, BTW, has never been easier. And what’s more? There’s so. Much. Choice. Just head to YouTube and find a beginner’s class doing pretty much anything you want. Without the need for anything except yourself, you can do yoga, HIIT, Zumba, any sort of stretching or a home workout at the pace you desire. The best part is that you can do it from the comfort and privacy of your own home. If you need to pause, rewind or stop at any point, you can. 

Since our gyms have to remain closed in accordance with Government guidelines, guests can borrow equipment to use in their rooms. So grab a foam roller or some resistance bands and hop on YouTube! There are millions of free lessons available from the very best instructors around the world… take full advantage! If you need some inspo, try Yoga with Adriene or Joe Wicks’ HIIT Workout.

Get Outdoors

It may sound simple, but we've all had those lockdown moments when going outside is a mission comparable to climbing Ben Nevis. There'll be some days where you just don't feel like it, but we can’t emphasise enough just how important it is to get fresh air into your lungs and feel the sunlight on your face. Or rain because, you know, the UK...

If you’re looking to get fit this year, getting outdoors is a good start. Government guidelines state that you can leave your home to exercise alone or with your household in your local area. So, put on your walking boots and explore your surroundings! You’ll rack up your steps and feel all the better for being surrounded by nature. 

What’s more, for those of you who are ridin' solo in lockdown, there are known benefits to spending time alone connected with Mother Earth. If you want to push yourself, go for a jog or run. But simply walking or cycling at a good pace will keep your heart rate up and give you the chance to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings.

Revisit Childhood Activities

Remember when you were a kid and your free time was spent running around, climbing, jumping or swinging from anything in sight? Let’s go back to that. Have a dig around the loft, shed, or even your room (hoarders, that goes for you...) and you’ll probably come across a calorie-burning piece of nostalgia. Skipping rope? Roller skates? Badminton racquets? Bicycle? Trampoline? Whatever it is, wipe off the dust and get going. If you associate getting fitter with childhood fun, it’s likely to remain exactly that. Fun. Except maybe with a few more falls on your butt.

Make small lifestyle changes

If you really think about it, there are so many small things you can do every day to get more active. For starters, walk as much as you can. It’s the easiest thing you can do to get fitter. Take the stairs instead of a lift up to your apartment after shopping for essentials. Stretch in the morning. Transform your housework into exercise time by putting on some upbeat music and dancing around with the sweeping brush! Even better, use your deodorant as a makeshift microphone and dance around your room like Shakira. That one’s our fave.

Hire a Doggy

One of the most common causes for homesickness at uni is missing your pets. Get fit AND ease the furry-shaped hole in your heart by borrowing someone’s dog. If you’re not up for walking around parks by yourself, this is a great way to force yourself out of your room and into the fresh air. Dogs are great company and you’ll find that getting fitter’s not so hard when you’re chasing after a furry animal! Just make sure it’s the one you actually borrowed…

Use free apps

Take advantage of free apps or free trials to experiment with new exercise routines and plans. As irritating as it can be to have an audio-recorded voice telling you to get a move on, or reminding you how long it’s been since the last workout, it does feel rewarding when you stick to it and can see your progress on the screen. Trust us. 

Here are some of our favourite apps:

Nike Training Club
Workout for Women
7 Minute Workout
WalkFit

Use social media as motivation

Look no further than social media to kick that January lockdown motivation into action! Follow fitness accounts, search hashtags and save videos so that you can rewatch them and mimic routines as and when you want. Since gyms have been closed, many Instagrammers are uploading short snippets of their home workout routines on the app. This is good news for us because they usually require little to no equipment and you can do them whenever you feel like! 

It can also be helpful to follow motivational accounts with positive quotes and affirmations which keep you on track, if you’re into that sort of thing. January is a great time to have a clear out of your social media, so if your goal is to get fit this year – incorporate that into the content you’ll see every day. It will only remind you of your goals and push you to keep going. On that note, remember to unfollow any accounts that aren’t making you feel good. You don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of feeling crappy after scrolling through hundreds of unrealistic Instagram ideals… no thank you!

Our favourite Instagram fitness accounts are:

@london_fitness_guy (workouts)

@kayla_itsines (workouts)

@madfit.ig (workouts)

@mrandmrsmuscle (workouts)

@gymwithgem_ (workouts)

@maryochsner (yoga)

All in all, there are a million ways you can get fit for free this year. All you need is the will to do it. We know it’s easier said than done though, so don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the fitness wagon and onto the sofa with half of Tesco’s chocolate aisle currently in your stomach. Be realistic with yourself and remember that it’s never too late to put on your trainers and start again.

Another tip we’d advise is that you take one step at a time. Rather than look at the whole year, start with January. Breaking up your timeframe and goals into digestible, bite-sized pieces will make it a whole lot easier to keep consistent with your fitness journey.

2021 is your year, you’ve got this! 

Posted 5 Jan 2021