Tenner Week: Day 6: Get some exercise

Tenner Week day 6 six exercise keep fit on a budget Penny GolightlyWe made it to the weekend and Tenner Week always gets interesting at the weekends, when most of us have more leisure time and perhaps more temptation to spend. Today’s activity is to get some form of exercise, at least half an hour of it.

Try to find something to do that’s cheap or free, and at this stage in proceedings it’s best if it’s free as you might have little or no cash left.

Fitness is for everyone, but we are also marketed to very strongly by the fitness industry and it can sink in at the subconscious level. It’s easy to get into a state of mind where we think fitness is an expensive commodity, and that only the most exclusive gyms, aggro personal trainers and highly processed, flavoured protein drinks are the way to go if we want to look and feel healthy. This is bunk, of course.

Any old kind of exercise will do today, where you keep going and end up a little out of breath. Stop snickering at the back, not like that. I mean walking, tidying, jogging, rowing, cycling or even some vigorous housework. Or you can dust off some sports equipment that you already own, or do a fitness DVD or online video.

You could also meet up with a friend and go for a swim or do a fitness class together, or go to a free family fitness event organised by your local school, health scheme or council. There are plenty of options.

If you’re still stuck for inspiration, the NHS Live Well campaign has loads of great ideas for free fitness, including fitness trails, conservation project ‘green gyms’, downloadable podcasts and free passes for classes and sports centres.

What’s happening here?

My plan for today is to do some serious gardening and other work around the house for a couple of hours, after having a double espresso. The garden needs one more burst of major activity to get it ready for the summer, and we’re having guests staying next weekend so I want to have everything in shape by then so we can all relax in the outdoor space.

If I can still move after that then I’ll do a bit of yoga. As it’s sunny I’ll also be remembering to drink lots of water.

Yesterday’s food was berry and cinnamon porridge for breakfast with a glass of orange juice, mushroom soup for lunch, cheese on toast with side salad in the late afternoon, and green olives for a snack, plus some free champagne.

Speaking of which, the Joss Whedon event was brilliant fun, and he turned out to be great interviewee and raconteur. Best. Freebie. Ever. I’m resigned to the fact that I might never top this as a freebie, but fear not, I shall still continue to pass other ones on.

Meanwhile, on the budget front, I had a sociable coffee and chat and nibbled on olives before the event started. My friend offered to pay because it was Tenner Week, but they paid last time we went out so I felt a bit bad about that and we ended up splitting the bill instead. Yesterday’s spend was £4.40, and that brings the weekly total to £9.54. Not sure what’s going to happen with the last 46p, but I don’t think it’ll get me all that far…

We’re going to a dinner party tonight, and fortunately we had some nice wine put by so we won’t be turning up empty-handed. After balancing the food budget and managing healthy eating, one of the biggest minefields I’ve found with Tenner Weeks is the social side of things, and trying to pay my own way. Fortunately the vast majority of our friends aren’t flash types who are always trying to show off or keep up with the Joneses, or living beyond their means and trying to influence others to do the same, so I do feel quite lucky in that respect, but financial ‘fairness’ is still in my mind.

Available now: The ‘How to Live on £10’ ebook

To make your Tenner Week go with a bigger bang, try ‘How to Live on £10 a Week: Take the Tenner Week Challenge’. It includes a real life example of a shopping basket and menu, and plenty of free and cheap ways to keep yourself entertained.

It’s on sale at a low introductory price of £1.53, so please buy a copy while it’s on offer and help support this site. You don’t need to own a Kindle to read this book – there’s free, safe official software you can download to read it on your phone, tablet or computer.

How much money and TV time have you used up so far? And how are you going to improve your fitness today?

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