Fitness; is it a case of throwing an old pair of battered trainers and going for a run in your local park or squeezing in some sit-ups on your lounge floor at the start of the day? Or do you need to be dedicated to gym memberships, fitness classes and extensive training plans?
I'll be honest, in the last year my fitness has hit rock bottom. In recent months I have gone to a Barre class once a week and occasionally gone for a run once a fortnight or so. Before I moved to London I was used to having a gym membership and went to a mix of cardio and weight classes roughly three times a week, but since moving to London I haven't quite worked out what is the best financial investment for me.
Gym prices in London have sky rocketed (my nearest Virgin Active costs £120 a month) and some of the cheaper value gyms like The Gym group, Pure Gym and Anytime Fitness don't all offer classes. I'm very bad at motivating myself and, quite frankly, often get a bit overwhelmed and daunted staring at all the various machines in the gym and wondering what the hell they are for. I feel much more motivated to work out in a group and London has some amazing group fitness classes on offer, which can usually range from between £15 to £25 per class.
So this got me thinking, is there really a cost of keeping fit? Do most people commit to gym memberships and training sessions, or are they able to work out without spending a penny? I asked a group of fitness bloggers to share their thoughts...
"I do it all. Move GB membership at £50 per month that gives me access to all my favourite classes with my friends at different venues. Nuffield membership for swimming and I walk and cycle. I also organise, attend and promote free events as I also believe that physical activity should be inclusive." Stephen - How Many Miles
"I am a member of the gym and I pay £18 monthly but since I started cycling to work I don't use it as much as I would like to but I am still keeping the membership so I can do the strength training when I am free. However, I should probably cancel my membership and use Pay As U Gym instead as this will bring the cost down. On top of my daily commute on the bike I also do home workouts to target muscles which I don't normally use."Petra - Be Healthy Now
" I am terrible at working out at home! I do run, so that's free. I also have gym membership through my employer (free to me) and ClassPass (£55 a month) because I like the flexibility it gives me and also the fact it makes me a bit more accountable - I spent the money so I have to go! If I didn't have a gym at work I'd pay for one and possibly go for something that has lots of classes so I could ditch the ClassPass. I'd probably look to spend around £60pcm to get access to something similar to what I have now."
Bethan - A Pretty Place to Play
Bethan - A Pretty Place to Play
" I have membership in a small, bespoke gym. The monthly cost is roughly the cost of a dinner at Zizzi's for a couple (so by no means the cheapest gym in my area). For me this is the best value because unlimited nutritional coaching is included; and a real community spirt is being fostered amongst the members and personal trainers - we are not treated as numbers but as real members, if you know what I mean! For example, we've a Facebook group and regular socials. For me a membership is the best value because if I don't go often enough, my money is going down the drain per se, so if nothing else, this definitely motivates me to go to the gym as often as I can. For this reason, a pay as you go option is not the best for me."Timea - Train Strong to Live Strong
"I am pretty good at motivating myself to workout and don't feel the need to pay for gym membership or classes. I run 3 times a week - I love the headspace and being outside, and I also do home workouts 3 times a week and about an hour of walking each day. I feel as though I shouldn't have to pay for something that I can so easily do at home as part of my day to day life. i think it's all about creating good habits, although I totally get that some people thrive better in a group environment and with professional instruction."Bex - The Art of Healthy Living
"You can workout without a pricey gym. I don't have a membership as I can't currently afford it. I can replace most exercises at home but it does take extra motivation and confines you to bodyweight strength work. I really wish I owned a set of kettlebells! Ah, the exercises I would do... I also miss the social aspect; saying hi to people who go at the same time as you or planning to go with friends. " Fiona - Scallywag Sprints
"You can get fit and lose weight without a gym membership that's for sure. I lost 120 lbs through running, home workouts and my own fitness equipment (I had a gym membership for a couple of weeks right at the beginning, I hated it, it was busy and expensive so I quit) I've been working out in the comfort of my own home and the streets for the last 5 years! I do pay for Adult Swimming Lessons each week though which comes with unlimited access to the pool for £20 a month."Laura - Laura: Fat 2 Fit