The Costs of Keeping Fit and Healthy in 2018
Resolutions aren’t always sustainable, particularly when it comes to losing weight and keeping fit. A study last year showed that many of us spend more time on the loo per week than we do exercising… Another showed that six million British adults aged 40 to 60 don’t go for a brisk ten-minute walk at least once a month. Perhaps it’s time we get moving!
We’ve looked at some of the most popular ways you can keep fit in 2018, and how much it might cost you along the way.
The Body Coach
Joe Wicks has gone from a personal trainer running boot camps in Richmond to a fitness phenomenon thanks to the rave testimonials and incredible results of those who have used his SSS 90 Day plan. Facebook and Instagram are flooded with images of avocados, washboard abs and teeny waistlines.
The plan includes workout guidelines (HIIT and weights) as well as food plans tailored to your nutritional requirements. The good news is that version two of the plan has just been made available, and it’s cheaper than it used to be. Previously you would have paid £147 for the three-month plan, but the new plan is £97. You still get workouts, meal plans and support, and time will tell whether the new meals are as good at getting the us lean.
Cost: £97 for the 90 Day Plan.
Note: The plan has previously been criticised as being expensive thanks to required cupboard ingredients many of us just don’t have. However, once you have done your initial shop, it’s possible to do the plan on a budget if you buy in bulk and cook your meals in batches. Just be prepared to eat a lot of spinach.
Parkrun offers free weekly 5K events at nearly 500 locations across the UK (as well as many more worldwide). You can run, jog or walk, and provided you’ve registered online and remembered your barcode, you’ll be given a time too. Track your progress online using the parkrun website, and challenge yourself for better times. If you’re not quite ready to run a whole five kilometres, why not try a free Couch to 5K (C25K) app to build your stamina?
Cost: Free. Find your nearest event on the parkrun website.
Join A Gym
Many of us are guilty of signing up for gym memberships that we don’t use. Save money by opting for a gym which doesn’t tie you into a contract and then if you find you’re not using it, leave. Many gyms will offer cheaper membership if you go off peak, and sometimes you can haggle for a better rate (especially at the end of the month if they’re working to sales targets). If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, budget chains like The Gym or Pure offer cheaper membership than a traditional gym.
Take the time to visit before you sign-up to make sure all the facilities you want and need are available – many budget options won’t have a pool, or they might not have as many classes on offer. Another tip to make the most out of your gym session is to book an appointment with a personal trainer. The sessions may seem expensive on face value, but they can give you good ideas to take forward and make sure you’re not wasting your time.
Cost: Varies massively from gym to gym, but the cheapest options are usually £10-20 per month.
Kelli and Daniel are a husband and wife team who started Fitness Blender with the aim of making fitness free and accessible to all. They’ve been producing their fitness videos since 2010 and the website now boasts over 500 videos for a range of levels. Whether you’re interested in workouts for toning, building muscle, flexibility, or improving your posture, there’s something for everyone on there, and there’s constantly more being added.
With 4.6 million subscribers on YouTube we’re sure they’re doing something right.
Cost: The videos themselves are free. For most workouts you’ll just need a mat, and sometimes you might need weights.
If you’re on Instagram and have ever so much as thought about planking, we’re sure you’ll have come across the BodyBoss method. This company advertise heavily on social media, both through targeted adverts, and through sponsoring celebs to promote their products. You can buy a digital version, or a book (or both), and the guide is designed to coach you through a three-month training programme which will increase your fitness through HIIT and tabala style workouts. It’s quite a similar concept to the Body Coach (expect this one is only three workouts a week).
It sounds as though the plan will help you get fitter, and continues to challenge you throughout the workouts, but you might not necessarily lose any weight as you’ll be building muscle and toning.
Cost: 12-week fitness plan from £39.90 (digital version)
My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal can be used to calculate calories in versus calories burnt to achieve weight-loss goals or nutrition targets. By scanning barcodes and inputting foods by weight you can keep a close eye on what you are putting into your body. It can become easy to completely obsess over what you’re eating though, and it does feel a little bit like your life is being micromanaged by technology. If you’re going to use it, make sure you log everything, or you’ll just be fibbing to yourself.
Looking back over historical entries can be an entertaining bonus!
Cost: The basic version of the app is free and has most features you’re likely to need.
There are lots of fitness timers out there, but Seconds is one of the biggest and most well-known (Joe Wicks of the Body Coach and Kelli and Daniel of Fitness Blender all use it). Seconds is a free app available for android and iOS (with a premium version available for a small fee). If struggling through a workout and counting reps is too much like multitasking, a fitness timer can be an absolute godsend.
The basic version of Seconds is free, and while it lets you create custom timers, you’re unable to save them for later. For £4.99 you can upgrade to the pro version, which is really useful if you’re going to be doing the same work out more than once. The custom timers allow you to put in exercises and rests, or you can just choose one of the pre-set timers and go from there.
Cost: Free for the basic version, £4.99 for the full version
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