One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions of all time is, undoubtedly, ‘Go to the gym’. However, it’s also one of the worst-kept resolutions of all time, with well-meaning gym bunnies all over the country failing to make the most of their costly memberships!
With one of the most expensive times of the year just passed, the last thing you want to do is throw away vital funds on an unused gym membership. This is why we’re encouraging our readers to forget about the gym, and try alternative forms of exercise for 2015, helping both you and your bank balance to shape up.
Pound the pavements
Not only is the gym expensive, but running in one place for more than five minutes can actually get quite boring. Why not solve both of these problems by ditching the treadmill and running outside instead? With the refreshing air in your lungs there is ever-changing scenery and as well as more challenging terrain. And if that wasn’t enough, research has suggested that exercising outside is great at raising our mood, meaning those aiming to boost their wellbeing can kill two resolutions with one stone!
Calories burned: Approximately 259 per 30 minute run
Stretch your legs
If you don’t feel quite up to a brisk run right away (especially after all of those mince pies!), why not stretch your legs by taking up walking in the meantime? You get all the benefits of the great outdoors with a gentler form of exercise. Why not take a stroll around the park or spend the afternoon exploring the local countryside? You could even just walk more often in your everyday life – take the stairs where possible, get off the bus a stop early or walk to the shop instead of driving.
Calories burned: Approximately 90 – 190 per 30 minutes of moderate walking
Feel the zen
Yoga classes have soared in popularity recently, but, like the gym, the expense can soon add up, especially if you’re going to more than one class a week. To cut costs while toning up in a calm environment, invest in a yoga mat and a DVD that you can use in the comfort of your own home. There might be an initial cost involved, but it isn’t extortionate, and once it’s out of the way you’ll have your yoga apparatus for life.
Calories burned: Approximately 102 per hour of general, stretch-based yoga
Release your inner water baby
Yoga isn’t the only form of exercise that provides a full body workout without the cumbersome gym equipment – swimming is perhaps even better! Effortless and gentle, it saves your joints from the jarring they can experience during a run on the treadmill, and is even used as a form of rehabilitation therapy. One of the best things about swimming, however, is that sessions are paid for ‘as you go’, so no money is wasted. Imagine taking out a £30 gym membership only to use it for just a few sessions!
Calories burned: Approximately 180 per 30 minutes of breaststroke
Be a team player
For many of us, exercising solo can prove quite a boring old business. A lot of people prefer the support and company of others to help spur them on, and thrive in a team environment. If this sounds familiar, and a noisy gym isn’t really your cup of tea, then team sports and clubs are your perfect alternative. From football and hockey to local running clubs, there are plenty of options to choose from. You could even end up making some friends for life!
Calories burned: Approximately 800 per hour’s play
You see, there are lots of fantastic alternatives to the gym that could help you to achieve some of your mind and body goals this year. Which ones will you try out?
* All calories calculated for adults of an average weight