Fitness for less

A gym membership can cost up to £2,000 a year

The average person WASTES over £300 on gym membership they never use - a collective £37 million!

One in three gym bunnies don't do enough exercise to even break a sweat at the gym

Don't waste money on a gym contract you won't use. Find FUN (and sometimes FREE) fitness for less


Need to know

  • Recommended exercise for an adult (19-64 years) is 150 minutes a week, a little over 21 minutes a day
  • There has been an increase in budget, no contract gyms which are great for people who just want gym equipment and access to classes (See 'Gym for less' below). They do day passes for around £5 so you can try before you buy
  • The more expensive gyms like , Fitness First and Nuffield gyms will give you a free trial but be prepared for the hard sell while you're there. It is very difficult to break contract with these gyms so think carefully before signing up for a year and check Groupon, Wowcher and Living Social for gym deals to reduce the cost
  • Don't waste money on a fad diet that will make your weight yo-yo- have a look at the NHS Change4Life's tips on eating well for less and sign up for the FREE Smart Swap which comes with tips and recipies to help you cut out the fat. Eating less processed food will be as good for your wallet as it is for your body
  • The 'Back to' social sports clubs get you back into a sport you may not have played since school for £5 or less a session. There's Back to Netball and Back to Hockey for ladies (sorry boys!)
  • Have a look at the useful classfinder database to find sports venues and exercise classes near you
  • If you don't like the idea of people seeing you exercise, you can sign up to GymCube for a free 10 day trial of great quality online classes. And there's always Youtube for a wide range of exercise videos
  • You can always get on your bike! There is a government backed cycle to work scheme where your employer can buy a bike tax free which you then pay back monthly through your salary. So as well as avoiding the lump sum of buying a bike you'll also save a massive amount on daily travel
  • If dieting is more your thing, there are usually some GREAT joining offers at Weight Watchers

Fitness for FREE

Walking; is GREAT for burning fat. If walking is your sole exercise you need to be doing  10,000 steps a day (around 4 miles depending on how long your stride is). For great walking locations have a look at National Parks and the Woodland Trust

Jogging; as with walking find yourself interesting routes. Google your local running club, our local club is just £20 for the year- alright that’s not free, but it includes coaching, membership to England Athletics, company whilst you run and that little bit of pressure to make you actually leave the house…Don't forget to take advantage of a free app to help you track your progress. We like Mapmyrun and Nike+

Free swimming;  Sport Wales along with lots of local councils including Brighton,  Glasgow and Manchester  will offer free swimming for under 16s and over 60s that’s a big discount on a day out that will keep everyone healthy! You can also now swap Nectar points for discounted swimming vouchers, you can look for your local pools on the Nectar site

Free Tennis; find free tennis courts on Tennis for Free

Free golf; find free and cheap golf taster sessions on Get into Golf

Free Football; this one is for the kids, the FA run free sessions during the holidays and afterschool sessions costing a maximum of £2

Free Exercise Videos; there are a whole range of exercie videos on Youtube including Yoga and Boxercise


Gym for less


The Great Outdoor Gym Company

Why we like it:

  • free outdoor gym equipment
  • search function to find equipment near you
  • videos online for the equipment
  • the gym machines generate electricity to light the area at night!!

Watch out:

  • no supervision or training on site
  • only shows outdoor gyms equipped by TGO there may be others in your area

Pay as you gym

Why we like it:

  • buy single sessions for £3-£20
  • buy in groups of 5, months passes and 3 month passes at a discounted price
  • register free and in under a minute
  • shows gyms with pools
  • searches 1050 gyms
  • can use clubcard vouchers to pay
  • £5 free credit for every 5 reviews left

Watch out:

  • if you are a frequent gym goer a monthly membership will work out cheaper
  • for cheaper swimming checkout local leisure centres

Gym group

Why we like it:

  • from £10.99-£19.99 a month depending on location
  • no contract
  • includes classes
  • 24 hour access
  • option to pay for personal trainer
  • clean and well maintained gyms
  • £5 day pass

Watch out:

  • very few staff available
  • join via a pc only
  • no pool, sauna or steam room
  • £20 joining fee
  • can get very crowded

Pure Gym

Why we like it:

  • from £18.99 -£26.99 a month
  • open 24 hours
  • one day pass £5.99
  • classes included
  • good equipment

Watch out:

  • can get very crowded
  • Joining fee may apply


Why we like it:

  • low monthly cost if you join early or from £24.99 per month
  • £6.99 day pass
  • well maintained and new equipment
  • personal trainers as paid extra

Watch out:

  • Joining fee
  • can get very crowded
  • no pools, spas or saunas


Why we like it:

  • free day pass
  • no contract for £19.99 a month
  • 18 month contract £13.99 a month
  • lots of new equipment

Watch out:

  • join over the web
  • few staff
  • no classes
  • can get crowded
  • no pool, sauna, steam room

The inside track

  • Consider a walking holiday - it's fitness for less, it's also a great way to unwind and have a holiday on the cheap! There are pubs and hostels along Britains most popular walking routes like the Thames Path
  • NHS Choices have a free podcast to help you get from Couch to 5k
  • There are a number of activities you do around the house that will burn calories like crazy! Hoovering, gardening and...other things...ahem...Check out the calorie burn calculator to see how many you're using
  • If you are looking to lose weight post baby have a look at buggy fit classes which are £4.50 plus a class depending on your location. Also check out your local sure start centre which may have mother, and baby yoga and more exercise advice from the NCT
  • Check out Primark, sportsdirect, Lidl and Aldi for super cheap gym wear.  The Aldi Specialbuy Running range is superb - running shorts for £5.99, compression shirts for £11.99, ultra light summer running jacket for £14.99, premium running shoes for £19.99 and even bluetooth earphones for £29.99!  We are genuinely wearing it for our workouts!


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