January – the month that we’re made to feel like fat hippos after indulging over Christmas. It’s not helped by all the gym, nutrient and food companies pushing their healthy products at you, and making you feel worse – Do this for 30 days and look like this, take that for a month and feel fantastic.
To be honest, yeah you might have eaten and drank a bit too much, but who didn’t. When I was a home with the family over Christmas, I think I had two desserts EVERY DAY! And so what, they tasted seriously delicious and I enjoyed every mouthful! It’s the one time of year I let myself eat what I want and I love it.
So January for me is just about going back to normal – regular exercise and a balanced diet. Back to 3-4 fitness sessions a week, eating healthily throughout the week, and maybe having a treat or two at the weekend. After all, life’s boring if you don’t have a little treat 😛
But we all know that January is also the month that everybody is low on money. It’s such a long time between December payday and January payday that everyone is prioritising what they’re spending on.
Well, if you’re looking to get back into fitness this month, money doesn’t have to be a worry. There are a number of different ways you can work out without spending a penny (ok, you will need internet for some, but I assume you’re already spending on that :P).
So here are my top picks for getting back to normal in January, just so you can feel happy in your skin (don’t think about what others think :)) :
Yoga – There are a number of channels on Youtube which offer free yoga classes for you do in your own time at home. This is great as you can fit the classes into your daily routine, at whatever time works best for you. You’re also sure to find one which is suitable for your skill level.
There are quite a few different channels, and to be honest you do need to try a few to find out which teacher/coach’s classes you enjoy doing, as fitness and working out does need to be fun.
My favourites at the moment are Yoga with Kassandra and Yoga by Candace. I also really enjoyed my first class with Cat Meffan this morning, and I’m excited to see what the rest of her “Yoganuary” is going to bring.
HIIT – I love a HIIT class. Short, fast sessions of high impact exercise, interspersed with really short breaks. You then get a slightly longer break after each set, just enough for you to recover for the next round – Almost like fitness from hell, but after I promise you feel amazing!
I’ve tried to create my own HIIT workout at home, but I end up doing the same exercises (not good as your body gets used to the workouts you do!), so I do like being told what to do.
Blogilates on YouTube has so awesome HIIT workouts, and Cassey who hosts them is so much fun. Super bubbly and energetic shes gives you plenty of motivation to get through, and actually makes the workout fly by.
Jog/Run with Friends – I know, it’s super cold out so what am I thinking suggesting you head outdoors?
Well, wrap up warm in full length heat protective layers, and running trainers, walking boots, or just some old trainers which are kicking about in the back of the wardrobe, and layers of warm clothes, and head out with a friend or housemate. It’s always more motivating when you have someone doing it with you. Go for a long, fast walk to discover somewhere new, catch-up over a brisk jaunt round the nearest park, or go on a jog together. Push each other to keep going as far as possible, before heading back inside to warm up over a cup of tea and a chinwag. Sometimes you need an end goal 😉
Varied home workouts – If you don’t fancy yoga or HIIT, there are plenty of other workouts you can do at home. Lots of publications regularly feature articles about the best cardio exercises, or the best workout to target legs, or get super strong arms.
I always keep an eye out for different ones, to make sure that I shake up my exercise routine – you don’t want your body to get too used to what you’re doing, and you definitely don’t want to get bored or you’ll end up not motivated to continue.
Thrillist have some good articles at the moment, like this one for alternative cardio workouts to jogging, and I always keep an eye on the Women’s Health fitness guides.
Apps – Ok, so this is an area where there are SO many that it gets super confusing. Like which actually work when you purchase them for free and which are going to charge you to keep going when you hit a certain point?
At the moment, I have a tabata timer for my HIIT workouts, and I’ve just downloaded the 30 Day Fitness Challenge app which looks like it’s a good one. You get given 30 days of workouts for targetting different areas – full body, abs, butt, arms and legs – and each workout has an easy, moderate or hard option too. Each workout is listed with the different exercises and how many reps of each exercise you need to do before you can tick it off – it’s pretty simple and saves you having to decide on the exercises yourself, I guess it’s almost like you’ve got your own personal trainer shouting at you.
And there you have it, my list of the best ways to exercise for free this January. But remember, all in moderation guys! You don’t need to go crazy because you had an indulgent Christmas – don’t burn the candle at both ends, you need to make sure you’re resting enough too. 3-4 times a week is what they recommend, and a mixture of cardio and weight bearing exercise (which can be yoga).
I hope this helps with saving the pennies but being able to feel good too.
What’s your go-to way to feel better after the Christmas period?