Get Fit For Free In Five Easy Steps

Get fit for free in five easy steps

How to get in shape for freeAfter the soirees and celebrations of the festive season have died down, every January brings with it the inevitable dilemma of wanting to persevere with our New Year’s resolutions, while having no funds to do so. Statistic Brain found ‘lose weight’ to be the highest ranking on their top 10 New Year’s resolutions of 2014. While getting into shape for the summer is a positive step to take, the majority of us will sway towards a gym membership, usually binding ourselves to a costly, monthly fee. Exercise class prices are on the rise and sometimes hard to fit in, and although we might assume a personal trainer would give us that much needed motivation boost, their hourly rate isn’t going to be pleasing to the ears…or the bank balance.

But if you are one of those people who has set ‘exercise more’ or ‘lose weight’ as your New Year’s resolution, don’t let money ruin your chances of feeling fit past February. If you can’t fork out for a gym membership, there are plenty of ways you can still get fit… for free! And let’s be honest, everything is enjoyed so much more when it’s free.

Squat challenge

The 30-day squat challenge aims to tone up your thighs and bum. Although there are a few variations, the most popular challenge starts on day one with 50 squats, and ends on day 30 with 250 squats (rest days included!). The challenge progresses slowly to ensure you can steadily increase at a comfortable pace. This can be done at home, in your room or wherever is most convenient, as well as avoiding the cold weather and only taking five minutes out of your day.


Parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world on the weekend. They are open to everyone and are safe and easy to take part in. They mainly take place in parkland surroundings and encourage every ability group to join – from juniors to those with more experience. Best of all, their software allows you to have every run timed with a unique barcode, to try and beat your time. It is a completely voluntary run, so check where the nearest run is to you.

Fitness apps

Getting fit through your phone? Surely not? There is a range of free apps available to download: ‘7’ is a 7-minute workout app which gives you exercises to do and times you with a range of 12 high-intensity workouts. ‘Workout trainer’ offers varying routines in length, intensity and target area, with a guide trainer to talk you through it – a virtual personal trainer!


Never underestimate the health benefits of a walk. It is low impact, with less stress on joints and, because it is a cardiovascular activity, it helps improve muscle tone and reduce body fat. Walking will burn around 100 calories per mile, and increases bone density too! So for those working a 9-5, instead of sitting at your desk through your lunch break, why not go out and walk, even if only for 15 minutes? Make excuses to walk places; back from the station, to the bus stop, around the corner. Of course jumping in the car will always be easier, but doesn’t have the same benefits as a good old walk.

Pinterest inspiration

Much like the squat challenge, exercises can be completed in your room through a little ‘pinspiration’. Decide what body area you want to focus on, search it on Pinterest, and you will find an array of guides with explanations and visuals on what you can do. Print it off, stick it on your wall – and if it’s staring at you before bed, you’re bound to give in and have a go.

Amy Packham

Amy is an NCTJ-qualified journalist. She works full-time as an editorial assistant on PTA+ Magazine writing about fundraising and education. She also freelances for her local magazine in Sussex as the community journalist. Amy enjoys freelancing about lifestyle topics such as careers, health, travel and relationships.