How to keep healthy on a budget

If you’re planning to get fit this summer, there are plenty of ways to go about it which won’t cause too much pain on your pocket

Caucasian woman smiling on hilltop

The thought of squeezing into summer clothes again often prompts people to dust off their trainers and start hitting the gym, but you don’t need to fork out for expensive membership to start shedding the pounds.

Here are our top tips to help you lead a healthier lifestyle without breaking the bank.

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Step 1

Make the most of free apps

There are several apps which are designed to help you get fit. The NHS’s app, Couch to 5k, for example, is designed to encourage you to run regularly, with the aim that you’ll be able to run 5km within nine weeks. All you need to do is download the Couch to 5K podcases to your mobile phone and a narrator will then guide you as to when you need to run and when to walk.

The ‘My Fitness Pal’ app can also help you achieve any weight loss goals you might have, as it allows you to track your calorie intake quickly and easily and log any exercise you do.

Step 2

Write a menu plan

Having a weekly menu plan can not only help you reduce the amount of food you throw away, but it can also help you eat healthily, as you can pick options which are nutritionally balanced. Planning ahead reduces the temptation to grab fast food, as you know you’ll always have a meal ready for you to prepare when you get home.

Step 3

Get walking

The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity is enough to keep you fit and healthy, but you don’t have to do this at the gym. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise and it won’t cost you a penny. Bumping up the amount of walking you do each week needn’t be difficult. For example, if you train or bus it to work, see if you can get off at the stop before your normal one and walk the rest of the way. It’s also good to have a friend to do it with so you can motivate each other.

Step 4

Stock up your freezer with healthy meals

If you’re trying to steer clear of often fatty processed food, try and cook a big batch of healthy meals in advance and freeze them so you can use them as and when you need to. It not only works out much cheaper than buying ready meals, but it’s better for your waistline too.

 

Step 5

Make the most of local authority resources

Lots of local authorities offer initiatives to encourage people to get fit, such as free swims or exercise classes. Some also offer outdoor gyms which are free for anyone to use, and often have similar equipment to indoor gyms. You can find contact details for your local authority at https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

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