Saving money on Exercise and sports is vital for both your health and vitality , but, like everything else, they come with a price-tag. Gym membership and exercise equipment can be costly, and they can end up being a waste of money, especially if you purchase expensive equipment on a whim, fancying a particular sport or activity, and then not keeping up with partaking in it.
Clothing and footwear
It is crucial to exercise in the correct clothing. You cannot run in jeans, for example, and it would be unwise really, to run in anything other than specific running clothing, and especially the shoes. However, you don’t need to fork out £100 onwards for special running shoes, e.g. Nikes. You can buy budget brands from supermarkets or low cost sportswear stores either on the high street or online
Have your gait and support needs checked from a specialist running shop. They will have you run on a running machine and note down how you move, you how your feet work. This is quite crucial, as then you will be able to purchase running shoes that are specific to your feet and running style requirements. Prices for these running shoes are still significantly lower than the expensive sports brands of footwear, and after the first pair, you can purchase cheaper ones online or at less expensive stores.
You can save on sportswear. Many items are similarly structured, regardless of the price-tag. For example an outer jacket that is windproof, waterproof and breatheable, will be the same whether or not it costs £20 or £200, as the higher end brands tend to do. You will still need to layer them with a fleece, top, base layer vest, and so on, and all of these items can be purchased from lower priced brands as well as the top-of-the-range ones.
And some items you shouldn’t scrimp on…
Socks. You should avoid 100% cotton socks and instead opt for a blend of cotton and polyester, especially designed for exercising in, to wick away moisture. Cotton soaks up moisture (i.e. sweat) and you will find this causes blisters and rubbing. Another thing to shell out for is a good sports bra, one that fits well and is well made, to prevent any chafing or other problems, caused by a cheaper item.
Buy used equipment
Exercise equipment such as bicycles or exercise machines can often be purchased second hand, from sites such as eBay, Gumtree, or Facebook selling sites. Often these items have been impulse buys by like-minded fitness wannabes, and have barely been used, or have not been used at all. You can pick up some bargains, but it does pay to do some research first and to make sure that anything you do buy in a used condition, is complete and in a fully working order.
Any kind of activity tracker is a waste of your hard earned cash. You can get free apps on your mobile phone or iPod, thus combining your musical needs with your tracking needs, and negating the need for a separate tracking device.
The average gym membership will set you back £300 per year, and that’s a noteworthy figure, because you are often tied into a plan for a year. So many people join a gym, intending to reinvent themselves and become a new, fitter, healthier version, and then after a couple of weeks they get bored, or real life gets in the way again, and they stop going, but are still tied into the contract. To prevent this, you can find a gym that doesn’t have a minimum term contract, or pay-as-you-gym, which is where you pay for sessions, rather than signing up to a membership plan. Conversely, if you opt for the pay-as-you-gym style plan, and find you are going every day, and intend to keep doing so for the foreseeable future, get yourself a membership pronto.
Free trials and discount deals
Many or most gyms have some kind of free trial scheme, and magazines and newspapers also often have vouchers for 3 days, 5 days, or 10 days free gym membership, or some sort of discount for a month’s membership, and so on. Utilise these, particularly if you are new to gyms and not sure if you are going to want to keep it up.
Tesco Clubcard and Nectar rewards, for example, can be used in many gyms as well, to save money, so it is worth checking these out for savings. Cashback deals from Quidco and Topcashback are also available at many gyms, and indeed, many sports shops, for the purchasing of gym gear or equipment.
Run outside for free
Parkrun is a scheme operating on Saturday mornings all over the UK, and, as the name suggests, is a run in a park. It’s a 5km run and you are timed so can ‘race’ against yourself on a week-by-week basis, and the best bit about it is that it’s free. You can also run for free whenever, and there are many apps available to download onto your phone or iPod, to help you plan your routes. You can also find many popular exercise videos on YouTube, meaning you can exercise in your home for free.