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Get fit and save money

Written by Fiona May 22 2012

Yesterday, I cycled to two work meetings and popped into the local supermarket on my way home for a few items of food. Not only did I save money on petrol and do my bit for the environment, but I also totalled 90 minutes on my bike, which obviously gave me a good workout.

With so many people feeling the pinch of rising food and fuel prices, not to mention the recent increases in mortgage rates it pays to find ways to keep fit and save money.

Tips for keeping fit and saving money

Walk instead of catching the bus or driving

Walk instead of catching the bus or driving

But having money is nothing without your health and keeping fit is also a priority for people these days. Gyms or fitness classes can be costly, so here are some ideas on how to keep fit and save some money, including family money, at the same time.

Walk to work: If you live within a few miles of your work, then walk to work or walk home, or both. If you live further away try cycling (see below) or take the car/train/bus part of the way to work and the walk the last two of three miles. The benefits include saving money on petrol or public transport costs, burning calories and toning leg and butt muscles.

Walk and talk: Agree to meet up with a friend for a walk and chat, instead of a coffee and a chat. Take you own coffee in a flask so that you don’t miss out on the coffee. In this way, you’ll burn calories and save money on pricey shop-bought cafes.

Run home: Perhaps you’re meeting a friend for a catch-up, or taking the children to school, or heading into town for a spot of window shopping. Instead of catching the train or bus home, run back. You’ll need to plan ahead and make sure that you have your running clothing with you in a bag but for a small amount of preparation there will be big pay backs in terms of fitness. Of course, you’ll also save money on transport costs.

Buy a Bike to Work Bike: The Bike to Work Scheme offers tax saving incentives for buying a bike. You can then save further money by cycling to and from the office.

Buy a second-hand bike: Ebay, local bike re-sellers and newspaper ads are a great place to find second-hand bikes. By investing in a bike you’re opening up you opportunities for cycling – and saving money in the longterm. Cycling to work in the summer saves money on rising fuel costs.

Cheap gym memberships: Many gyms offer cheaper deals in the summer, to encourage people to work out indoors, even when the sun is shining. Look out for these deals at local gyms.

… Or skip the gym: Gym memberships usually require a long-term commitment, and who wants to use a gym when the sun is shining outside? Instead, skip the gym and take up a cheaper sport instead, such as walking, running or cycling (se above). Fitness DVDs and on-line fitness video websites offer much cheaper options, too.

Cycle holidays: Plan a cycle touring holiday at home or abroad. Cycling is a great way to see a new country and also means you’ll be far fitter by the time you return home. How often can you say you’re fitter after a holiday?

Healthy children’s parties: A cheaper and healthier idea for a kid’s party is to organise a cycle birthday picnic, or a climbing party, or a walk to the top of a hill party. Or you can even put together a basic home science party where the kids can get involved, run around and learn something new.

And where will you put all those pennies that you save? Check out the best ISA rates with Moneysupermarket and put away your saved money without paying taxes on your savings. Result!

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