Disqus for Where Are My Knees

Guest Post - The Cost of Fitness by Jamie

Saturday, 30 June 2012

I make excuses for not exercising all the time. With the exception of “I just haven’t got enough time!” my favourite one is “it’s so expensive to get fit, I can’t afford it”. Well, that’s a lie. If you want to compete at a certain sport then you’ll need professional gear that will cost a fortune, that much is true. But if you’re looking to get rid of the beer belly and tone up for the summer, getting fit without paying through the nose is a piece of low-fat, low-carb, sugar-free cake. Take a look at these tips before you max out your credit card buying stuff you don’t need.


Getting fit usually means a lot of cardio, which means you’ll need a good pair of shoes to go with it. I speak from experience when I say that walking shoes and Converse trainers are not suitable for running or jogging (my foot blisters and shin splints can vouch for that). A good pair of trainers or running shoes should be your biggest investment, but even here you can get good gear at a decent price.
First of all, find out your foot shape and do a ‘wet test’ by wetting your foot and looking at the shape that your footprint makes on the floor. This will show you if you have high or low arches, which will need a specialist shoe to maximise comfort while exercising. Also, when you look for running shoes, don’t believe in the myth that they need to be ‘broken in’. If a shoe is comfortable, it should be comfortable as soon as you put it on. You might look silly doing so, but do a few laps of the shop before you commit to buying a pair of trainers. Getting a good pair of shoes straight off the bat means they’ll last longer so you won’t have to fork out again in a month’s time for new ones.

Feel the burn

You don’t need to hire a personal trainer in order to get a good workout. There are a number of exercise programmes available online that you can follow, and you can also download free podcasts that help you to work out. Useful (and free) places to look are the NHS Couch to 5k podcast, a series of audio clips that gradually build you up to running 5km without stopping, and the 100 pushups challenge, which builds up your muscle over a period of weeks until you can do 100 consecutive pushups.
The combination of these gives you a balance of cardio and strength training that build you up gradually and for which you won’t have to pay a penny to use.

Homebrew fitness

Worried about how much the gym is costing you every month, especially because you only go twice a month? Cancel the subscription and you can build your own gym with everyday items. Soup cans and bottles filled with water make for great makeshift dumbbells, and you don’t need to use a cross trainer when you can just climb your nearest hill. There are a number of recreational parks that have installed fitness stations where you can do pushups, chin ups and other resistance training while you do your daily run. Fresh air? Check. Cardio? Check. Strength training? Check. What more could you want?
So the next time you try to tell yourself that you can’t afford to get fit, stop. All it takes is the willpower to slip on those running shoes and step outside.
This guest post was written by Jamie Gibbs, the resident blogger for Confused.com. He keeps his old heavy metal T-shirts in the hope that one day he’ll be able to fit into them again.


  1. Love this post - I'm using the couch to 5K and doing the 30 Day Shred at home which I got for about £5 online to try and get fit, and combined they cost me less than a months membership at the gym and I can roll out of bed and do the shred in my pjamas, which means I can't be demotivated by the thought of having to get ready and actually go to the gym!

    1. I've not tried the 30 Day Shred before - I'll have to give that a go and see how it takes. Thanks!

  2. Great post! I get my running trainers from sports outlet stores so they're decent quality but don't cost too much and love the 30 Day Shred, I've lost count of how many times I've done the DVD.

  3. I've just started the nhs couch to 5k - I was putting off getting proper running shoes until I was sure I was dedicated but this post has made me realise I should get them now before I injure myself

    I'm writing weekly progress updates of the couch to 5k programme at rococ0.blogspot.com


  4. This is a great post. I totally agree that you don't need a gym membership and tonnes of money to get fit. I'm a full time post grad student and I don't have time for a job (my course is pretty much mon to fri 9-5) so I don't have much money. What I've done is invest in a cheap Pilates mat (got it from a car boot), a couple of fitness DVDs (great prices on Amazon) and a couple of weights. And I horse ride once a week. No gym and still active.

  5. Couch to 5k is a great programme. I use podcasts from here http://www.c25k.com/podcasts.htm and find them really useful.

  6. Now you can build your own gym at home and do not need to go gym everyday because if you want to loose your weight or make your build so now you need Neoprene Dumbbells 10 lb and start loosing weight. Neoprene Dumbbells 10 lb

  7. Stunning post!! You took my heart away! Personal trainer in London

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