Hitting the gym requires more cash and commitment than we care for, but treadmills aren't the only way to stay in shape. Here are our top tips on how to get fit without joining the gym...
If you're looking to get or keep fit, there are loads of great ways to exercise, live healthily and get a fit body without going to the gym.
Getting fit for free is easier than you might think, and there are actually plenty of ways to become more active which (dare we say it) can be quite fun – not to mention effective for looking after your mental health.
To help, we've compiled a list of our favourite ways to get and stay fit on a budget.
How to keep fit ?
1. Home workout YouTube tutorials
There are thousands of free-to-watch fitness routine videos to choose from on YouTube. So, whatever difficulty and style of home workout you're looking for, there will be a video tutorial for you.
If you're happy to spend a few quid, exercise tapes have come a long way since the leotards and headbands of the 80s VHS. Every celebrity who's worth their salt has a fitness DVD or two up their sleeve – even Cher and Lorraine Kelly.
You can pick up cheap workout DVDs from 99p in most pound stores or, if you're looking for a specific exercise workout, you'll find a few for under a fiver on Amazon.
There's no need to get bored of the routines, either – swap with your friends who also want to get fit at home or simply head down to your local library where you'll be able to rent a different DVD every week.
2.Join university sports teams
You don't need to be a pro athlete to get involved with sports clubs at university.
Joining a sports club is a brilliant opportunity to stay active without going to the gym, especially if your timetable is just a little bit too packed.
Every university has an array of sports clubs, from the bog-standard (football) to the weird and wonderful (Quidditch), and the best part is these club sports activities are usually free or cheap to do.
Considering you're already paying a fair amount in uni fees and general living costs, society memberships are usually kept as affordable as possible, so you can get involved with your favourite sporting society without stretching your student budget too far.
3.Download free fitness apps
There are so many great fitness apps that can help you track your progress and work towards different goals.
Apps like Sworkit and 7 Minute Workout are great for squeezing in a quick session at home, and you'll only need floor space and a pair of comfy joggers to get fit with their fantastic (and exhausting) workouts.
Strava is a particularly popular fitness app – it's essentially a social media platform that focuses on exercise, letting you share your runs, cycles and walks with your friends. You can also see what others have been up to, and give them 'Kudos' for their efforts.
Plus, Instagram is full of its own fitness celebs with God-like status who can keep and make the hard task of getting fit for the summer actually enjoyable: check out Michelle Lewin, Kayla Itsines and Joe Wickes if you haven't already.
4.Use home exercise equipment
Ever dreamed of a home gym? If you take away all of the shiny, expensive bits, you basically can have one (or near enough!).
You can get cheap versions of gym equipment on Amazon, such as a rowing exerciser for less than £10, and skipping ropes are cheap as chips (but way less fatty).
If you're really looking to save some money, keep an eye on Freecycle and swap shop sites, where you'll sometimes find old gym equipment that you can pick up for free.
5.Stop eating junk food
A cupboard full of crisps and a Domino's pizza delivered to your door might sound like the best option when you flop on the sofa after a hard day, but it won't be doing your waistline – or your wallet – any good.
Having a healthy, balanced diet can help you feel generally much better and improve your energy levels.
Cut out the takeaway meals, fatty foods and snacks and not only will you see the difference in your fitness levels, but you might also lose weight and notice yourself feeling stronger as well.
If you're in need of some guidance on how to become a master of your student kitchen and cook easy, healthy meals, our essential cooking tips will come in handy.
For foodie inspiration, check out our student meal plan. Who knows, you could be the next Jamie Oliver (or not).
It's so important to look after your mind as well as your body. To help you unwind, we've put together a list of the best self-care ideas that you can do on a budget.