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How to keep fit on a budget

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We know we should be keeping fit. Magazines tell us, our parents, children, spouses, friends tell us, our doctors tell us! To be honest even our own bodies are telling us. But what if we don't have the money for a gym membership, or the discipline to exercise for 10-20 mins alone each day? What if our full time job makes it hard to organise chummy runs or walks in the park? This article will help outline ways that we can still keep fit without breaking the bank. Some degree of discipline will always be necessary to succeed at this, but that's true regardless of whether you're exercising at home alone or contemplating cancelling your session with your expensive personal trainer.
What you'll need: 
Self discipline
Iron will to keep fit
A willingness to be creative in finding new ways to keep fit
DITCH THE CAR: While this might not work for everyone, many of us use the car for unnecessary journeys such as to the Post Office, a coffee shop, down to the tube station. Time saving is often given as an excuse, but most of us don't really use the time we could be strolling down the road to do anything other than dither away at the computer or spending at extra 5 mins in the shower. Plan your day in advance and work out whether you can save petrol and improve your fitness by leaving the house 5-10 minutes early tomorrow morning.
BUY OR BORROW A DOG: Purchasing a pet might be a little bit extreme if it wasn't already on your to-do list, but offering to help out a neighbour or friend with their daily dog walk shouldn't be too much of a chore. Once you've committed yourself that's that. A dog will have their walk daily whether you're in the mood or not. It doesn't matter if you stroll around the block or go wild and take a run around the park, you'll be doing a good deed for yourself and someone else at the same time. You never might even get offered money to walk the dog!
JOIN THE LOCAL POOL: Log onto your local council's website and take a peek at the facilities near to you. Many offer special deals to residents, OAP's, Students and more for swimming -or perhaps even gymming. Failing that, many public pools (the simple ones rather than the fancy schmancy slide filled ones) have very reasonable daily rates. It's a refreshing way to spend your lunch break, evening post-work on weekend morning, whether you're alone or have company.
WALK WITH YOUR FAMILY OR HOUSEMATES: If your family or housemates are often in at the same time as you on evenings or weekends, perhaps they might like to join you for a stroll? You could go to the local park, drive and park somewhere pretty or just have a good gossip as you wander round the block.
MAKE EXERCISE PART OF YOUR LEISURE TIME: Why should 'relaxing' or 'having fun' necessarily mean settling down infront of a movie, playing video games or reading a book? What about a walk in the country, a horse-riding trip, paintballing? There are all sorts of active pursuits that combine keeping fit and having fun. Try looking on websites such as Groupon or LivingSocial for special deals.
DISTRACT YOURSELF: No wonder people get bored with exercising at home - it IS dull! So why not treat yourself while you work at it? Pop on an episode of your favourite sitcom, or audiobook and watch/listen while you do press ups, sit ups, yoga or whatever else you choose to do.
BUY HOME DVDS: Shops such as Morrisons, Tescos, Poundland, Amazon etc. all often have cheap deals on good workout videos to do at home. Decide in advance what sort of routine you think might interest you and keep searching until you find the right DVD at the right price. If you enjoy the presenter and the exercises or accompanying music, perhaps you might start to look forward to doing it a few times a week!
GO OUT!: Yes! Dancing really does burn calories! Okay you might want to cut down on the alcohol and fatty foods, but feel free to go out and dance the night away. You really will be doing yourself a favour!
There are just a handful of some of the many creative ways to keep fit here. In a society where we are confronted daily with tiny bodies, gym routines and healthy eating diets, we can sometimes lose sight of the fact that 'keeping fit' can just mean being active, balanced and happy. Use this guide as a starting point, and just keep adding fun things to do!
Make sure that you don't push yourself too hard straight away. It's important to work at your own pace.


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