Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Get fit for less

Frugal and fit

By Tiernan Cannon

We’re in February now, so if you’re sticking to your new year’s resolution by keeping fit, kudos. That’s impressive. If you spent January feeling sorry for yourself and constantly pushing your new fitness regime aside, then that’s fine too. There’s no shame in it, and there’s still time to get active. It’s springtime now, the days are getting longer and the weather should marginally improve soon.

If gym membership is too expensive (which it almost certainly is) then you’ll have to find other, cheaper activities to truly shed those holiday pounds. Here are just a few suggestions.

Walk or cycle to work

The benefits to this one are endless. Not only are cycling or walking to work wonderful and free ways of keeping fit, but they also save money on travel expenses, are good for the environment and help to get rid of any morning grogginess before the working day. Of course, some of you will live too far a distance away from work to walk or cycle, but try to find time each day to get out and about in the fresh air.

Join a club or class

Joining a sports club can be an extremely fun, inexpensive and healthy way of spending your free time. For a minimal membership cost, you can sign up to the local football club and spend a couple of nights a week in an extremely active environment. Plus, it’s a good way to meet new people.

You can also try to source free classes throughout the week, such as yoga or dancing. Dublin Event Guide is a great way to find free classes in the capital, but keep an eye out for posters around your area, wherever it may be. You might find some free classes, or at the very least some inexpensive ones to help you keep active.

Use the internet

The internet is great resource of exercise regimes that you can abide by right in your home. YouTube is filled with free exercise programmes, such as yoga, aerobics and boot-camp style workouts. Moreover, it can be easier to replicate exercises from a video as opposed to typed instructions from a website, and you won’t feel self-conscious as you sweat out of sight behind your curtains.

For information and tips on the types of exercise and the recommended length of a session for a person of your age, see Get Ireland Active.

Build your own gym

Home gym equipment can be a bit pricey, but once you make the purchase you’ll have it forever. Make some room in your house or in the garage, and bit by bit start putting together your home gym.

Keep an eye out for sales over the next few weeks – the purchase of a treadmill that will last you permanently might be equivalent in price to just a few months membership at the gym. Plus, when you’re finished, there’s no travel time to the shower and, ultimately, to bed.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.