Will the cost of living crisis also cost you your fitness?
Times are undeniably tough for many people right now. The cost of living crisis is already biting and will bite harder over the winter.
Whether you’re really struggling or just finding you need to tighten your belt a little, you may be considering drastically cutting back on your health and fitness spend.
Whilst that’s completely understandable, and often looks like the easiest and least painful saving you can make, here at GymWolfPT we’d like to respectfully offer some counter arguments and suggestions for cutting back without throwing the fitness baby out with the money-saving bathwater.
Make the gym your hobby (and home-from-home):
Assuming you’re already a gym member and actually use it, dropping your membership may look like a no-brainer, saving you money and making Martin Lewis proud. You may even try to convince yourself “I’ll run more” or “I’ll do bodyweight workouts at home”.
But you joined the gym for reasons that haven’t gone away – for the classes, for the range of equipment, for the social aspect and motivation, for the swim or sauna at the end of your workout, or just to get yourself out of the house.
Cancelling your membership puts you at risk of your motivation ebbing away and your fitness going backwards – which further risks that your mood will go downhill with it.
In difficult times, positive mood and attitude are likely to be your best weapons to fight back against overwhelm and despair. So we’d argue that, if you possibly can, double-down on the gym. Make it your primary hobby and maximise (within reason) the time you spend there, getting your money’s worth of the facilities and generating endorphins by the bucket load. Use the showers. Sit on an exercise bike or rowing machine for a long steady-state workout and watch TV there instead of on your sofa.
If you have a partner or family members at the same gym, all the better – make it the focus of quality time outside the home.
If you need to justify the cost of sticking with the gym, remember that in most cases it’ll cost you similar to one big night out per month, or a few takeaways. Which is going to give you a regular, lasting benefit most days of the month, and have a positive impact on your mood? Use the gym, commit to your fitness and use it to help keep boredom, despair and “oh f*** it” moments from sabotaging your finances through binge eating, impulse purchases,
Just Eat temptations or boozy blowouts. In normal circumstances, your “things” might be fitness, eating out, going out with friends – if you have to cut down to just one, then make fitness your thing for the duration.
Keep going with personal training:
Obviously, if you’re paying regularly for a PT you’re probably not experiencing the worst of the cost of living crisis, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t feeling the pinch and looking to economise. However, the same arguments for keeping up your gym membership also apply – if you decide to focus on your fitness and mood during these hard times, and treat training as your primary hobby, it’ll repay you in spades.
Not only that, if your PT is feeling the pinch they are likely to be even more motivated and committed to helping you get fit.
Of course, at GymWolfPT we provide 5-star, cost-effective online personal training, primarily through our 12-week body transformation programme, so you can get top quality personalised workout and nutrition plans, plus the support and encouragement to keep you on-track and accountable, without the expense of in-person PT sessions.
If you do quit the gym, don’t give up:
As previously noted, many of us find it difficult to stay motivated to run, cycle, or do home workouts to stay fit – that’s why we join gyms in the first place. If you do have to quit the gym to save money, a flexible online PT like GymWolfPT can go where traditional in-person PT typically can’t – providing cost-effective personalised support and programmes that are tailored to what you have available and how you want to work out, and then keeping you motivated and accountable.
If you don’t have much space or equipment, GymWolfPT will work with you to develop an effective programme that works specifically for you.
Investing in yourself:
The outlook doesn’t look great for some time to come, and a lot of people are unfortunately going to have a very tough time of it. You may very well be one of them, in which case we’re rooting for you. As with any crisis, there are two ways to approach it – let it overwhelm you, or come out fighting.
If you have any means to do so, investing in yourself right now is likely to deliver greater returns than ever. Get/keep yourself fit and motivated, work on your mental health and attitude, and learn new skills if you can – all of these will put you in the best possible position to weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.
Easy to say, of course, much less easy to do, but we like to follow the advice of top guru Billy Ocean: when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Meal planning saves money:
We all know it – healthy food costs more than cheap, low-nutrition (but often delicious) rubbish, and if you’re bored and fed-up, few things are more attractive than comfort food. Not only that, the grind of trying to save money to pay your bills can make an occasional blow-out more tempting than ever, even though it can undermine weeks or even months of discipline.
Fitness meal preppers already swear by the benefits in terms of both improving their diet and saving time and money.
Why not try to let necessity be the mother of improvement – use free online resources or your PT’s advice to identify cheap, tasty and healthy meal plans that can be prepped in bulk to further reduce ingredient and cooking costs?
Having put the time and thought into prepping, you’re much less likely to fall into a Just Eat trap through having no food in the fridge.
The natural approach to tough times is to tighten your belt, with gym membership, PT sessions and other fitness expenditure an obvious starting point. But by taking the time to carefully consider your priorities, the benefits of staying fit and the opportunities to save money by making fitness your primary hobby, you may come to the conclusion that re-commiting to your goals is the best way to ride the storm.
If you do, GymWolfPT can help you on your journey – just let us know how you’d like us to help
Always On Your Side,
Ian – GymWolfPT
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