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Does the acronym for health, fitness and working out spell out as “GYM” in your head? Have you lost half your wallet weight in a six-month or (worse still) an annual membership? The first few weeks were all about religious attendance and euphoria and then… Then that big pitch got you busy, then aunt flo visited, then a colleague got married, and of course you promptly fell sick. It’s been three months since you’ve touched the treadmill, may be twice? And you’ve kissed your money “adios” behind the gym reception. Tut tut.

Spending thousands (if not millions) is not the only path to fitness. The most effective ways to save your body from doom are also the most economical ways to apply the same effect to your bank account. We’ll tell you how…

THROW SOME WEIGHT AROUND

Any instructor worth her salt will tell you that your body is just as good as any fancy fitness machine. Bodyweight training lets you explore a variety of exercises – Spider Man pushups, wall sits, criss-cross kicks, push-ups, planks, squats, etc. There’s tons of creativity in the routine to cut boredom, and you can even do them while watching Netflix or combining them with house chores.

HEY BELLE, GET A DUMBBELL

Contrary to popular belief, building and maintaining a home gym is not just for the rich and loaded. You don’t need fancy treadmills, tens of barbells, a bench press, or a pulldown machine. All you need are three sets of weights, two or three fitness accessories (fitness ball, resistance bands are all good), a yoga mat, and the convenience (and privacy!) of your own home.

GATHER SUPPORT

Working out alone can be daunting. Without an instructor you may feel lost, or not motivated enough. But you’ve got friends who can help you. And when no one knows, the internet comes to the rescue! Explore YouTube’s gazillion free video tutorials for everything from yoga to strength training to boxing to interval training; or Pinterest’s easy-to-follow instructions; or join the Instagram bandwagon for inspiration and reach out to people who follow the same routine as you. Reddit’s experienced and qualified bodybuilders and coaches are always happy to help set up your circuit training, or healthy recipes.

SPORT IS THE NEW WORKOUT

Played a sport in school? Follow one even now? Being fit isn’t just about having a surfboard tummy. It’s about lifestyle changes, physical endurance, and mental wellbeing. Preserve mental and physical health in the company of people you actually like. Pick up a sport! Nothing beats the build-up in a basketball court or the ton of good badminton does for your posture. Not to mention the banter that will lead to great memories and lots of endorphins for that happy feeling. If your club or gymkhana membership’s been lying unused, explore the swimming pool, the squash and badminton courts, check if there’s a Zumba or martial arts class that you can sign up for. They’re all super low maintenance ways of looking high maintenance, always!

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