Barely seen as a form of exercise for many commuters without a car or transport links – walking can actually be very beneficial to your health, and is one of the best ways to work out for free. For those who live close enough to their place of work, swapping the car for comfortable footwear means you’ll slowly start to clock up miles for yourself rather than your engine (which will save you money, too). If this isn’t possible, then local parks or gardens are a great way to get walking on the weekend while making a day of it.
The snack: Nuts and dried fruit mixes are great snacks for keeping you energised when walking, giving you the protein and carbohydrates required to stay alert.
Admittedly not for everyone, running takes a little more effort, but is also much more rewarding. You can exercise for free by simply taking to the roads, no matter the time of year or the weather (within reason!). A good pair of trainers along with a pair of shorts and a running top are your only expense – and dependent on your local surroundings, you can tackle a different route every time you head out.
The snack: Bananas are high in potassium and carbohydrates, meaning they’re great for giving you slow burning energy when you need it most. Eat one before heading out for a run to keep you going, and blend one in a smoothie for a post exercise boost!
Okay, not everyone has a bike just lying around, so if you don’t you may want to skip this one. But if you do, cycling takes the term ‘work out for free’ to a whole new level. With the ability to take to the roads and head in pretty much any direction, cycling is not only great for staying fit, but comes with endless possibilities of where you can go on two wheels.
The snack: You’re going to want to stay hydrated before, during and after your bike ride so water or squash are essential for taking with you. If you’re riding for more than an hour and think you’ll need snacks too, then a pack of salted nuts is great for replacing nutrients lost through sweat.
If you fancy something a little more adventurous as a way to get fit for free, climbing is a great pursuit to undertake. Aside from a good pair of boots and a rucksack if you’re really committed, simply venture to your nearest mountain range to start your ascent. From routes better described as a challenging walk to really stimulating climbs, just make sure you don’t venture too far outside your comfort zone.
The Snack: Mountaineering burns a lot of calories, so it’s important to not only prepare well before going but to also stock up on the right snacks to keep you fuelled mid-climb. High protein and calories are the perfect way to start your day, with pancakes, yoghurt and fruit being the ideal way to build you up. To snack along the way, try dried fruit, chocolate, snack bars, nuts and even string cheese for a great protein kick!
And the best way to work out for free? With a home workout. Home exercises give you all the benefits of a decent workout without having to leave the comfort of your own home. Yoga is one of the most practical and easy exercises to complete at home, requiring little more than a comfortable mat. Learning a few basic positions or taking it up a notch with some pro moves is a great way to get your fitness kick at home. Want to start but haven’t got any equipment? Enter our Yoga giveaway competition to win a Pro fitness yoga and Pilates set.
The snack: Oats! A bowl of porridge is the ideal snack to have around an hour before your yoga session. Slow release energy will keep you going, while high levels of magnesium will prevent any possible muscle cramps.
Exercise for free this year by taking to the streets or finding fun exercises to do at home, and keep hydrated and energised with a selection of fruit, nuts and snacks from your local SPAR.