Keeping fit on a budget

I've definitely posted about my workout routine and keep fit interests on the blog before but in association with this interesting article from Legal & General which discusses exercising in poor weather conditions (perfect for the UK then!) I wanted to look again at specific activities that you can take part in whatever the weather, and additionally, whatever your budget.

I love using yoga and pilates to keep fit and actually, a lot more; I find that spending as little as 25-30 minutes a day on the yoga mat helps to calm my mind, keep me grounded and stop the stresses of everyday life getting to me too much. I find I can get anxious and worry too much about little things, and taking time to compartmentalize that whilst focusing on my yoga session is a great way to unwind and relax.

I bought my yoga mat from Sports Direct I believe for about £15 but you don't really even need one, you can use a towel or blanket if you prefer and there's no need to buy fancy gym clothes, you can wear your most comfortable tees and joggers or leggings, because when you work out from home, no one will be looking at you! There's also no excuse for missing out a session, either, as even if it's raining outside you can roll out your mat and get stuck in. I try not to think of workouts as a chore, though, even though sometimes I feel like I can't be bothered or don't have the time, I always try and make time as I know I will feel great afterwards.

I usually use YouTube videos over workout DVDs and I've found some wonderful online personal trainers! I have been a longtime fan of Cassey Ho of Blogilates and her free videos mix up classic elements of pilates with more high intensity, aerobic workouts, into which you can also add weights to further tone and strengthen. I got my weights from TK Maxx and they were fairly inexpensive but I wish I'd factored in to the purchase that I would have to carry them home! When I'm wanting to do a more classic yoga workout, I look to a newer (to me) YouTube instructor, the delightful Adriene Mishler from Yoga with Adriene. Her irreverent, funny and easy to follow videos are as charming and endearing as the woman herself, and she has really made yoga exciting for me and definitely improved my form as well as my fitness levels.

As well as yoga and pilates, which I try and do a little of most evenings, I also really enjoy my weekly ballroom and Latin dance class. I've been dancing for several years now but never get bored of the classes and I've made a few friends in my class which adds to the motivation of attending every week, even if I've had a long day or it's raining and I don't really want to go out, the enjoyment I get from taking part in the class always gets me off the sofa, and it's the best sort of exercise, too; you don't even realise you're doing exercise as you are focused on learning the steps and the routine. Dancing in heels is also great for your legs and posture and the benefits of taking part in a class like this are multiple; it's definitely worth giving it a try and lots of local companies will hold taster sessions as well as beginners classes so you can find something you like or that suits you. Classes aren't free, but they are still much cheaper than a gym membership, and most companies offer a pay-as-you-go scheme so if you do have to miss a lesson, you won't be out of pocket.

How do you like to keep fit and stay active?

XO Amie
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