How to Stay Fit Over the Holidays -- Without Breaking the Bank
It's the most wonderful time of the year — and one of the most tempting, too. With a cover of fresh-fallen snow on the ground and countertops covered in cookies and cakes, it can be difficult to stay motivated to achieve and maintain your fitness goals over the winter holidays.
There are plenty of free and low-cost workout options to help you stay fit all year round, including during the winter weight-gain season.
Here are a few affordable ways to stay fit and healthy this holiday season.
Join a Low-Cost Gym
With fancy-pants boutique fitness options popping up like weeds, it may seem like overspending is requisite to becoming a gym member.
But for every trendy, binomial barre franchise or uber-luxe exercise center, there's a modest, down-home option that offers all the equipment you need for just a few bucks a month.
Planet Fitness, for example, famously offers its memberships for only $10 a month, with some additional signup and occasional facility fees — though these are frequently waived during sales and specials. They also offer free basic training and group class options to help get you oriented if you're a fitness beginner.
Work Out at Home
What's cheaper than a cheap gym membership?
Why, no gym membership at all! And fortunately, you definitely don't need one to get fit, despite what the fitness industry might want you to believe.
As long as you're finding a way to move your body and strengthen your muscles, it doesn't matter if you're performing dumbbell reps at the gym or holding strong planks in your living room at home. If you're not sure where to start, turn to YouTube; some great, beginner-friendly home workout channels include Yoga with Adrienne and FitnessBlender.
Find an Active Hobby
Exercise doesn't have to feel like a chore in order to be effective. A challenging (but scenic) hike or engaging game of dodgeball with friends totally counts as cardio... and you'll have a blast while you're blasting those calories.
Try a Fitness App
If you've got a smartphone in your pocket, you may already have all the exercise equipment you need — aside from maybe a jump rope or a small set of dumbbells. Apps like Aaptiv and PEAR bring a huge diversity of fun workout plans directly to your earbuds for very affordable monthly membership fees — currently $14.99 and $5.99, respectively. You can also find totally-free training programs, like Couch to 5K or the Seven-Minute Workout, which can get even the most intimidated beginner moving. In many cases, all you need is a pair of sneakers (and a dose of motivation) to get started.
Attend a Free Fitness Class or Event
No matter where you live, chances are there are some incredible fitness-related community events you're missing out on. Gyms, yoga studios, sports equipment stores and personal trainers often hold free exercise classes to help garner brand awareness, but also to serve their communities with cost-free fitness opportunities. It's about getting involved and giving back... and it's a great way to get your sweat on while making some new friends in the bargain.
Check out the community events section in your favorite local newspaper, or run a quick Google search for "free fitness classes + [your zip code]." You might be surprised at how much ongoing excitement has escaped your notice!
Try a New Way to Move with ClassPass
All those fancy boutique fitness studios may be undeniably overpriced... but they're also undeniably intriguing. They make exercise seem not only doable, but glamorous and fun. And besides, for many of us, it's hard to get motivated to just float around on the elliptical for an hour — or to figure out how to strengthen our bodies without someone telling us exactly how to do it.
If you find yourself craving a studio class experience without sometimes-insane studio class prices, ClassPass might be the perfect solution. Starting at just $15 a month, your membership will give you access to many of the most alluring studio fitness classes in your area. Not only is it affordable, but you won't have to limit yourself to just one type of exercise!
Traveling? Get a Gym Membership That Goes With You
Whether you're visiting family or headed off to enjoy a snowy (or sandy) destination, winter is one of the most popular times to travel. And even for the most motivated, it can be quite a challenge to keep up with your routine while you're on the road.
While many hotels offer basic fitness centers, they can be hit-or-miss when it comes to the diversity — and quality — of their equipment. So finding a gym membership that offers reciprocal access can be a godsend for frequent travelers, and can go a long way toward keeping you toned over the winter season — when those travels are probably paired with gigantic family feasts.
Anytime Fitness is one American company that offers full reciprocal access to all of its club, and it has thousands not just in the States, but worldwide. (And, as the name implies, they're all open 24/7.) Be sure to ask around at other gyms in your area to see what their policy is on reciprocity.
No matter which of these options you choose, or whether you come up with a different solution entirely, just remember to keep moving this winter — and enjoy all those holiday indulgences in moderation. Keep it up, and not only will you forego the customary five-pound weight gain... you might even get a leg up on those New Year's Resolutions!
All content provided in this blog is supplied by Jamie Cattanach and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
Image Credit: istock
*Prices may fluctuate over time. This article reflects price estimates at time of publication. “