If you’re low on funds it can sometimes feel difficult keeping body and soul together, even though we all know it’s good to get some exercise. Fortunately, it’s possible to find a range of free gym facilities all around the UK, plus free day passes and week-long passes to enjoy more expensive gyms, and all kinds of low-cost options if you want to work out on a more regular basis.
Make the most of your local facilities
Don’t forget to check what’s free and on your doorstep, whether that’s workplace or college fitness facilities, open days for family fitness, or free classes for the over-50s. It’s easy to overlook options like this, but it’s always worth checking.
Ask a friend for a free day pass
Does a nearby friend or relative already have a gym membership? If so, ask them nicely if they’ll get you a free guest pass for the day. Many gyms offer these because it’s an easy way for them to advertise their services.
Get a free trial membership
Many gyms and fitness centres offer free temporary memberships, so why not make the most of one? Any amount of exercise is better than no exercise, even if it doesn’t become a regular workout for you. The larger commercial chains have regular promotions all year round, including Fitness First, LA Fitness, Nuffield Health, David Lloyd and Virgin Active.
January is of the best times to look for a week-long all-inclusive trial, when the rival gym chains are competing for new customers. Max out that membership, which usually includes access to the gym and all classes, and sometimes also a dance studio or a swimming pool. Beware of getting the ‘hard sell’ from sales staff, and don’t sign an expensive contract that you’re unlikely to use.
At the moment, the easiest and most comprehensive one-stop-shop for finding free gym passes around the UK is Fitness TV’s Fitness Club Offers website. They’re working in collaboration with Fit4Life, and mostly offer free 1-day passes worth up to £20. You may also see special offers and free gym trials posted on voucher sites and freebie forums, and in magazines. Some of the easiest places to start looking include www.vouchercodes.co.uk and www.magicfreebiesuk.co.uk.
If you don’t mind the weather, step outside
There are free outdoor gyms around the UK, often based in parks or next to playgrounds, and most of them are run by The Great Outdoor Gym Company. Find out if there’s one near you with their map and listings.
Try a cheaper no-strings gym
The newer model ‘pay as you go’ gyms are less likely to offer free memberships, but they sometimes offer a small amount of free credit so effectively you can try them out for a day at no cost. If not, many of them charge about £5 to £7 per session, which might be within your budget, and some have monthly membership from under £11. Examples include The Gym Group, Pure Gym, and easyGym.
There you have it, several options for going to the gym when your budget is tiny. More information about free or cheap gyms coming soon.