No gym membership? No problem. Stay fit on a budget!

Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

Winter is a season where your guilty pleasures thrive. You stay in bed longer than usual, you (feel like) you can eat whatever you like and cover the evidence up under an over-sized sweater, as you spend your weekends indoors catching up with your favourite reads or series under the covers.

Skipping gym to avoid the cold is also another winter hobby, but it doesn't mean you have to quit working out entirely. 

In an article for HuffPost, Alena Hall reports that exercising in winter not only builds your tolerance for cold weather, but that it allows you to burn more calories because "the body works harder to regulate its core temperature among the elements". While there are numerous benefits to working out outside, you don't always have to brave the bitter cold to keep fit.

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You can work out at home - yay!

There are a number of exercises that are done without weights and that are just as challenging, especially when you're using your own body weight. When you find exercises that are intense enough, you could also get them done in 5 to 15 minutes, like these Women's Health 10 minute exercises that you don't need any equipment for. 

Whenever you can, do exercises like squats, duck walks, sit-ups and push-ups at home as if you're still following a consistent gym routine.

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The great thing about working out at home is that you can use anything, anytime, anywhere:


The 5 litre bottle of water you have in the fridge can be used as a weight, just like your nephew's skipping rope comes in handy for cardio. When you want to exercise effectively indoors, you need to be creative about what you can use to vary the exercises you do. Not having too many things to use, on the other hand, forces you to use your own body strength to keep fit. 


When you don't make time to go to the gym, you can use that time to do some exercises at home, either early in the morning or late in the evening. What's great about encouraging yourself to exercise is that you can do whatever you can at literally anytime. You could do calf raises while brushing your teeth in the morning, or while preparing dinner. As soon as you get the hand of working out at home, create a routine for yourself and commit to it. 


By anywhere, we mean everywhere that isn't the gym. Depending on what kind of exercise you do, you might only need a room with enough floor space. Be careful of where you choose to do your exercises and make sure there's nothing around you that you could accidentally knock over. 

READ MOREYou definitely need to work out at least two times a week if you want the heart benefits 

Other things you should try:

Join a class

Joining a fitness group will help you keep yourself accountable and committed to keeping in shape. Make time on the weekends to attend a dance class, take up private boxing lessons, or sign up for a boot camp. Depending on what you choose to do, the activity can double-up as a hobby to keep you entertained while you burn a few calories.

Get active whenever and wherever you can

Thinking of taking the elevator? Opt for the stairs. Walk to work if it's close enough. Take your dog for a walk in the afternoons. The little choices you make towards your health go a long way, so make a mental note to use every opportunity you can to get active. 

Get a partner or personal trainer

It's easy to skip working out when you feel like you have no real commitment and so you can procrastinate as much as you like. Personal trainer and CEO of Con-fit-ence, Alino Katombe, says that it's easy to be lazy in winter when you don't have a partner or personal trainer to be accountable to.

"When you train with someone you feel obliged to honour the commitment", he says. Getting a partner to work out with during winter will ensure that you stay committed to your routine and reach your body goals.

Do a few outdoor activities

Activities such as hiking and rock-climbing are not only entertaining but they are some of the best ways to keep yourself in shape, according to What's great about outdoor activities is that they're not as intense as being at the gym, but the benefits are just as significant.

Staying active and healthy is just a matter of being creative and committed to using what you have at your disposal.

Watch below: videos of exercises you can try at home:

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