Ergh, it's that time of year again when you feel like you're being bullied into doing more exercise.
Since people got really, really into fitness though, gym membership prices have rocketed. To become a member at one gym in London, called
KX, it now costs an eye-watering £575 a month. To be fair, it looks really nice.
Most gyms are a lot cheaper than that, obviously, but they can still hurt your bank account. Luckily there are plenty of ways to work out for cheaper. Click through to find out how.
photographed by Winnie Au.
If your yoga instructor is clad head-to-toe in
, teaches in a lavender-scented, temperature-controlled room and doubles up on the weekend as one of Scandinavia's top models, it's probably fair to say you're paying a lot for your yoga classes.
But who's to say that Ingrid is any better than 60-year-old Brenda who teaches vinyasa flow to a bunch of mostly mums in the local village hall? Check local public spaces (community centres, Sainsbury's) for notices advertising such classes. Brenda's likely to cost a darn sight less than Ingrid (and be a whole lot more encouraging, too).
Check out too your local adult learning services. Obviously these services differ between counties and boroughs but many offer discounted fitness classes. Ten weeks of yoga in my local borough costs just £65, which is nearly £6 cheaper per class than any other local private studio.
Pay As You Go
Unless you're on a strict workout schedule, it's unlikely the amount you actually pay per gym visit is worth it. Imagine paying £80 a month and going once a week; that's a sobering £20 a go.
Of course, the aim with a gym is to go as much as possible but some months, life gets in the way. If that sounds like you, then pay-as-you-go workout methods may be better for your hectic lifestyle.
, the pay-as-you-go class, gym, pool and PT app which offers access to thousands of classes and gyms in London and is soon rolling out nationwide. You can sort the classes by price too, in order to make sure you're paying as little as possible.
, an app where you buy a membership which gets you access to a huge range of different locations and activities, from HIIT all the way to aerial yoga. The higher tier of membership, the more activities you get access to.
Pay As U Gym
is another good shout. Choose from day passes for gyms around the country all the way up to monthly unlimited visits – handy if you're on the move a lot.
photographed by Andi Elloway; modeled by Chantell Jackson; produced by Megan Madden.
Budget Gyms One of the success stories of the fitness boom of the past few years. Basic but adequate gym chains like easyGym, PureGym, énergie Fitness and The Gym Group are growing and expanding all around the country, and further and further into central London. Obviously don't go expecting Instagrammable interiors and complimentary citrus-infused water by every machine, but the bigger chains work hard to make sure their places are clean and user-friendly. And with prices from £14.99 a month, who's complaining?
Sounds obvious, right? Running is the easiest, and cheapest, form of fitness to take up.
The trick is to give yourself a purpose. If you just say, "Oh I'll go running every now and again", you've got nothing pushing you – no money being spent, no goal to work to, no schedule to stick to.
Consider the now wildly popular
These take place all across the country, every Saturday, for free, and see thousands of people taking part in an organised 5k, all before you've normally got up for breakfast.
If group activity isn't for you (and I hear you on this), then get a running app and set yourself a training schedule.
Couch to 5k
is brilliant and far from intimidating for beginners. Moving on up there's the
app (my personal fave),
Considering you rely on the internet for just about everything in your life, it's hardly a huge leap to trust it with your fitness goals, too.
Have a look at YouTube for some pretty impressive fitness videos. We like
from Yoga Upload. If you're a beginner, definitely start off with
Yoga With Adriene
and her 30-day challenge (there's a reason it's been viewed so many times). For barre, check out
for 20-minute workouts and a four-week HIIT plan.
In terms of apps,
is probably the most comprehensive and helps you find or create a workout of your own to suit you. If you're short on time,
is an oldie but a goodie and breaks down your workout into a daily seven-minute routine.