Five cheaper ways to keep fit

Whether you want to lose some weight, get fit or just do a bit more exercise, joining the gym might seem like your best bet. After all, if you're paying each month for membership you're bound to go as often as possible, right?

In reality, good intentions aren't always enough to make a resolution or ambition a reality. Many people sign up to expensive gym memberships only to find they haven't the time or inclination to actually go as often as they should.

And even if you are a gym bunny, the chances are you're paying a hefty price for your weekly workout session.

But there are ways to cut the cost of keeping fit.

1. Negotiate a better deal

If you are determined to join a gym then make the most of the competition between different providers. Call up a few gyms in your area and ask them what deal they can offer you - if you aren't prepared to pay the price they are quoting then don't be afraid to haggle or ask for a discount. The worst they can say is no, and you could end up making a saving.

2. Try before you buy

LA Fitness, Cannons and Fitness First all offer free one-day passes on their websites, so before signing up get a free trial first. Gyms always have extra deals on offer, but if you can’t see anything just call up your nearest gym and ask.

3. Cheaper gym membership

If your hours are flexible, consider off-peak membership or deals that don’t tie you to a 12-month contract. Also, look beyond the chains - you may well find that an independent gym in your area could offer you a cheaper deal.

4. Use your local leisure centre/university sports centres

Many local leisure centres have spruced up their facilities in an effort to attract people who want to keep fit without tying themselves to a lengthy gym membership. Try the pay-as-you-go approach, so that if you have a busy month – or break a leg – you’re not still forking out for a year’s membership.

5. Use your legs more

A great alternative to joining a gym is to simply make the most of free exercise opportunites. Get off the bus or train a stop early, or use your lunch break to stretch your legs. One hour’s power walking uses up 300 calories. For some extra puff, an hour’s cycling to work would use up 531 calories.

6. Freebies

Register with and you can post enquiries for any gym item you are looking for in your local area - and pick it up for free.

You can also follow workouts online for free. There are plenty of exercise routines on, and websites such as

Your local council might also offer free fitness classes or local facilities in your area.

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