3 ways to skip the gym membership and still lose weight

Skip the Gym and Still Lose Weight

Let’s face it, the gym is expensive. When we sign up, we’ll commit to a few sessions and then begin promising ourselves that we will go tomorrow or the day after. Before you know it, you’ve paid for a year’s membership in monthly instalments and been all of seven times.

So here are three ways you can skip the gym membership and still lose weight.

 

Take advantage of free trial days at your local gyms and free buddy ups with your friends

If you want to go to the gym, but don’t want to be tied in and spending money for the time you aren’t there, then this one will be for you. Gyms offer free trial days to new and expired members all year round. They also offer buddy passes for current gym members, meaning your friend at work may be able to get you in for another session.

If you want to go more frequently, but still not enough to justify a full membership, some gyms also offer pay as you go plans or free classes at certain times of the day. The best way to find out about these is to ask your gym or your local council.

 

Invest in workout equipment to use at home

You don’t need a gym to look great. Workout machines are based on free weight movements, treadmills can be replaced by your favourite park or even your hallway, and steppers are just another way of running up stairs.

Workout equipment is designed to emulate real-life movements with extra weight, so you will find you can get a workout just as good at home. With a few clever purchases of the equipment you use at the gym (a free weight set for the weight machines, an aerobic step for the stepper, a gym ball for the gym ball etc.), you can have a full workout without leaving the comfort of your home.

 

Find a free outdoor gym or workout park near you

Many towns and cities have outdoor gyms and running routes dotted around their parks and green spaces. A great alternative to the drudgery of the treadmill, nature has also been shown to make you feel happier and more positive just by looking at it.

Three self-grooming routines that can be expensive and unnecessary

Unnecessary and Expensive Grooming Routines

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look great and project the best version of yourself to the world. After all, it’s this desire that drives people to lose weight, eat healthy and get fit. The question is: can too much of a good thing start to become bad for you? The answer is yes – especially when it comes to your beauty regime. With this in mind, here are three self-grooming routines that are both unnecessary and expensive if done too often.

 

Brushing your teeth

The majority of children are taught that they must brush their teeth twice a day if they’re to uphold a high level of oral hygiene. This is still the amount recommended by dentists. The problem occurs when people get older and they decide that they should start scrubbing away at their pearly whites several times a day. If you’ve fallen into this habit, you should be aware that you’re not only plowing through toothpaste faster than you should be, but you’re also making yourself susceptible to sensitive teeth and receding gums.

 

Washing your hair

You should avoid buying into all the adverts that convince you to wash your hair daily. Instead, experts are pretty much united in that there’s no general timescale when people should crack open the shampoo because it should be used when an individual’s hair starts to look greasy. If you insist on using pricey shampoo too often, it won’t just have an impact on your toiletry bill but can also leave your mane looking dry and prone to breakage.

 

Showering

Showers are one of the main things that cause a spike in your water bill. But you have to shower constantly if you’re to maintain good hygiene, right? Yes and no. Bathing is necessary for people to remove dirt from their body, but if done too much it also limits the number of good bacteria – known as microbiome – found on the skin. A lack of this could mean your immune system suffers and you open yourself up to illness and infection.

 

Try it!

You should find that you start to look and feel better if you limit these self-grooming routines – not to mention the fact that you’ll also save cash in the long run. For further help on improving your wellbeing and health for cheap, check out Voucherism.

The ultimate guide to having a frugal, fun and fulfilling year

The Ultimate Guide ot a Frugal Year

Trying to save money can seem like a daunting task, but it can actually be quite simple, and it all starts with making a plan. Whether you’re an accountant or an art student, creating and implementing an effective plan is the ultimate way to save time, money and to achieve your goals. Our brains actually release dopamine and serotonin (happiness chemicals) when we create plans and stick to them, which means you will not only be saving money with a plan, but you’ll be happier, too.

Here are 3 steps to help you write your plan for the year (and every day):

Divide up your life and write about it

What are the different elements of your life? Divide them up into sections, for example: social, romantic, family, work, hobbies and finances. Now consider each part. In an ideal world, what would these look like? Write this down. Now, how about the opposite? If you didn’t maintain these parts of your life, how would they suffer? Think worst-case scenario. Putting our fears behind us can provide great motivation to achieve our goals because we know what can happen if we don’t.

Consider where you are now and what needs to change

Now that you have an ideal future in mind for each section of your life, consider the changes you need to make to your current circumstance to get there. How much are you spending on the different elements of your life? Are you prioritising your health? How much time do you devote to the things you love? Set yourself a reasonable weekly budget for food, rent and social activities. If you’re not visiting your parents as much as you’d like, you could set a number of times a month you’d like to visit them and try to stick to it. If you want to eat healthier, limit the amount of times you eat out to once or twice a month. If you’re spending too much on your gym membership, rather than stopping exercising, think about ways you can exercise for free – such as regular walks, runs and online workout videos you can do at home.

Weekly plans and weekly review

Finally, create a detailed plan of your week, taking small steps to implement your goals. Pick a day to write up your weekly plans and use this day to review how successful the previous week has been. Set yourself questions related to each goal to ask yourself. Some examples of this could be: how much did I spend this week? Did I go over my budget? Am I on track to meet my savings goals? How could I do things better next week? This will ensure you can reach the end of the year and be satisfied you have met your aims.

For more money saving and health tips, visit Voucherism today.

Tips to stay active at work

Tips to Stay Active at Work

In an ideal world, you’d spend your time in work eating healthy, fresh food and then nip to the gym for a quick session once you’ve clocked off. Sadly, this isn’t always possible when you’re stuck for both time and money. This is why you need to wise up to some of the shortcuts that you can take to stay active while doing your job. Even the lightest bit of exercise can improve your fitness levels – and there’s absolutely no reason why it should cost a penny either. With this in mind, here are three ways you can stay active in work.

Lunch

Don’t spend your entire lunch break just sat at your desk tucking into a snack. Instead, use the time wisely by going for a walk. A brisk pace will be enough to elevate your heart rate and help you to lose weight. The benefits all add up if you do this on a day-to-day basis, so you should find yourself looking and feeling healthier than those people who remain inactive during their lunch hour.

Stairs

Lifts and escalators are not your friends. While they may get you from A to B just that tiny bit quicker, they don’t measure up to the fitness benefits that come from tackling flights of stairs. Just think of all the calories you could be losing if you walk up the stairs before your shift and then down them again once your day is finished.

Stand up

Experts are warning that the world is falling victim to a phenomenon known as ‘sitting disease’. This is the term used to describe a lifestyle where people typically sit down for long periods of time, especially while at their desks at work. You can combat this by standing up as often as you can – whether it’s when you’re on the phone or simply chatting with a colleague.

Give it a go!

These three tips alone – which conveniently won’t cost you a penny – are a great way to boost your fitness levels while in work. If you’ve set your sights on getting healthy despite your budget, check out Voucherism for more help.

New year healthy living on a budget

New Year Healthy Living on a Budget

One of the most popular ways to improve your health with clean eating and exercise is to follow the Paleo diet, but it can work out to be quite expensive. So how does the family on a budget eat healthily?

The key point of the Paleo diet is to eat like cavemen in order to stay healthy and disease free. It also requires movement and exercise as our ancestors would have been far more active than we are today with our sedentary lives, trapped behind a computer screen for hours on end. You don’t have to go full Paleo to reap some of the benefits of this fad diet, and you can apply some of the concepts and stick to your budget!

Eat local, eat seasonal

The best fruits and vegetables to eat are those that are in season and grown locally, and usually they are the ones at the best prices in the fresh food section of your local grocery. Rather than filling your trolley with ready-made meals or processed foods, choose more vegetables and fruits. See if you can get eighty percent of the food in your trolley from the fresh food section. Choose a range of colours and types: green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, seasonal fruit, and legumes. This kind of eating is also a very good way to control pre-diabetes. Not only will eating this be good for your waistline, but it will be a natural way of getting a range of vitamins and minerals in your diet!

Try new proteins

Paleo diets are not protein heavy, like some believe. However, they do require high-quality fresh protein alongside healthy vegetables, which does not mean eating loads of sausage rolls but using meat creatively and wisely. Certain cuts of meat are far cheaper than others, while providing all the nutrients you need, including healthy fats. Chicken thighs can be bought cheaply, and are a great addition to a meal of roasted fresh food. Try new meals from other countries that utilise cuts of meat you might normally not consider. Chicken liver piri piri from Mozambique or pork trotters in a traditional Zimbabwean recipe. Think creatively and you’ll be surprised just how much you can do with cuts of meat you might previously have ignored.

Have fun on the run

Healthy eating is only one aspect of a healthy life, to have that lean, muscular body, we need to do some exercise. This doesn’t mean taking out a costly gym membership because of a New Year’s resolution, but incorporating exercise into your life in a fun and natural way. There are a whole range of body weight exercises that you can do at home without any extra expensive equipment. Many free smartphone apps exist that will train and encourage you to begin an exercise routine such as doing push-ups or building you up to run 3 miles. You’re more likely to do exercise if you enjoy it, so take up something you’ve always wanted to do and get fit without resenting your exercise.