Earlier this year I wrote a post about saving money on exercise and how we were trying to keep fit whilst spending as little as possible. Things for us have change slightly since then; being pregnant means I don’t exercise anywhere near as much due to either lack of energy or concern of causing myself or baby harm. I’ve also talked to more people about budget exercise and been given some good ideas and tips.
Walking is still one of my favourite forms of exercise. It is as easy if you want it to be or you can make it as challenging as you want; walk faster, longer or steeper. It can also be free; we have some fields very near our house where we can enjoy a lovely evening stroll. Or for a longer or more challenging walk we can pack up a lunch and head out in the car to surrounding national parks. Although, getting Frugal Baby to go in the right direction can be a bit of a challenge!
I’m not going to pretend to you that I run. I like the idea of it and it can be free like walking. I just find the idea of starting quite daunting and it does seem like hard work! Motivation is the key to any exercise and it’s certainly something that holds me back. I have friends who run and several of them of recommended the Couch to 5K program from the NHS as apparently it’s a great guide to start running and get you motivated to get up off that couch and not just run, but more importantly, keep it up. Maybe I’ll give it a go after Frugal Baby #2 is here? Though I’ll be completely honest, even the thought of that brings back horrible memories of cross country at school…
I mentioned last time that we were using yoga DVD’s at home and it was going well, but once I became pregnant I pretty much stopped altogether. I know lots of women keep up exercise throughout pregnancy, look at Serena Williams! For me though, I was just too worried about doing the wrong thing and putting my baby in danger. Whether it was warranted or not, the worry itself just took away all my motivation and once I stopped that was it. I got a pregnancy yoga DVD off ebay but I just can’t get into it.
Mr FC also lost his motivation at the same time but he wanted to get back into it but felt like he needed some extra motivation. He looked around for some classes, but they can be expensive, starting at around £6 a lesson near us so going once a week that’s £24 a month. He decided to join one of the cheaper local gyms, at £17.99 a month. Even if he just goes to one class a week it’s cheaper, anything else is a bonus. He found that going to a class had many advantages over doing it alone at home. Firstly he felt like he was giving a proper commitment to keep going, which helped keep up his motivation and forced him to go even when he didn’t feel like it. It also gives him some time to himself away from home, which can be important for all of us to keep us sane. Also meeting new people is great for the soul, even if you’re not making strong friendships, just interacting with new people and a change of scenery does you good!
Since my last post a few people have approached me about their methods of exercise as well as what they’re looking for and feel they need. A common theme has been functional fitness which was described to me as building and strengthening muscles in your body to help with day to day tasks. Typical methods of exercise using basic things like your own body weight and heavy objects such as sandbags and kettle bells. I was recommended to check out the Onnit academy which is totally free to use and has a lot of exercise techniques and videos.
Some people have suggested ways of creating DIY training equipment, even using tins of soup, but something that seems to be worth buying is a Kettle bell which in theory can help you have a complete body workout with just one piece of equipment. Again it’s something that I’ve yet to put into practice myself but it seems to be like a logical way to exercise and possible to do at little cost.
Remember when everyone was buying steppers, to step up and down on? Well, we have stairs! Go up and down them as many times as you can and where possible use stairs instead of lifts. I think this is just a case of getting into the habit of using stairs but can definitely help your fitness and free and easy. I have a FitBit Blaze which does track steps and flights of stairs, which I find quite motivating.
I think what I’ve learned most about exercise is that keeping motivated is absolutely key. We’ve all started something for a few weeks, stopped once and never gone back to it. So how do we keep that motivation? A great practise, not just for exercise but for any goals you have, is to write it down. Once you’ve written something it makes it more real and you feel like you’ve made a personal commitment to yourself and gives you something to look back on tough days.
Personal timetables go hand in hand with this. Draw up a weekly timetable for yourself, highlighting when you have free time. Put in a couple of exercise dates, but also make sure you put some things that you enjoy too, watching a film, read a book, visit friends, have a bath. Again writing things down like this gives you that personal commitment but don’t beat yourself up if you miss things, no one is perfect. Also try and log your progress, having something you can look back on and see what you’ve achieved is a great feeling and can give a much needed boost. Write it in a diary or use one of the many apps available.
Do you have any more tips about exercising on a budget? I’d love to hear from you!
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