Hint & Tips to hep you keep active during the cost of living crisis
Many of us are feeling the pinch right now due to the cost of living rising. With the pressures of paying the bills, keeping active may seem the least of your priorities – perhaps you’re having to give up your gym membership or are making savings by dropping a regular activity session or club, or you want to be more active but can’t afford any equipment.
However, being active doesn’t always have to cost a lot. We’ve put together some free and low cost ideas for keeping moving, that will boost your mood and support your wellbeing without your wallet taking a hit.
Enjoying a regular brisk walk is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to be active. Just pull on some comfortable clothes and trainers or sturdy shoes and enjoy a brisk walk to boost your mood and your energy levels.
For short distances that you would normally drive, why not allow extra time and walk to your destination? Whether that means popping to the local shop, the school run, or visiting a friend nearby, by using active travel you’ll not only benefit your health but save fuel as well.
Meeting a friend to chat as you stroll or going for a walk with your family is a cost free way to enjoy spending time together. Use a free walking app, such as Go Jauntly to find routes or green spaces near you to enjoy a walk, or find suggestions on our walking pages.
If you’d like to walk as part of a group, or enjoy a led walk, there are lots of free options available across Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire Co-op have over 60 free wellbeing walks taking place across Lincolnshire and Newark, which are suitable for beginners. Read more about them here.
Lincoln Free Walking Tours offer free guided tours around Lincoln, where you can learn more about the historic city. Take a look at their website and book here. In North Kesteven, Countryside NK offer a selection of regular led walks each month.
Search walking on our activity finder to discover more, or find more inspiration, hints and tips and suggestions of where to walk on our Walking pages.
Like walking, running is free to do, you just need to make sure you have a suitable pair of running shoes and some comfortable clothes. If you’re new to running, then the free Coach to 5k app is a great space to get started. Find links to this and other apps to support your running here.
Don’t want to run on your own? Parkruns, are free weekly outdoor 5k runs that take place at a number of locations across Lincolnshire – they’re very friendly and welcoming to beginners. Find a list of current local Parkruns here.
There are also lots of running groups across Lincolnshire to join, many of which welcome beginners.
Find more top tips for getting started running or jogging here.
If you’ve got a bike gathering dust at the back of the garage or shed, now is the perfect time to dig it out and start using two wheels rather than four. Once you have a bike, cycling doesn’t cost anything more than the price of your bike maintenance, and can even save you money if you walk instead of drive. Just make sure you get an old bike checked out to ensure it is safe and roadworthy.
If you don’t already own a bike, it might seem like a big outgoing to purchase one, but if you can cycle regularly, for instance on your daily commute, instead of driving, it might be worth the investment and save you money in the long term, alongside keeping you fit and healthy.
If you’re in employment, you can speak to your employer to see if they are signed up to the cycle to work scheme, which can save you money on the cost of purchasing a bike, and spread the cost out. Alternatively, purchasing a good quality second hand bike, is another option. Find out more about cycle to work scheme and advice on commuting here.
If you’ve already got a bike, but need some motivation and encouragement to cycle more, there are lots of free campaigns, clubs and events to support you. Love to Ride Lincolnshire, run regular campaigns to encourage you to cycle throughout the year – often offering the chance to win prizes by taking part. Take a look at their website here.
Get Active at Home
As many of us discovered during the Covid pandemic, there are now a multitude of free to access exercise videos available online. From gentle yoga for beginners to more high impact sessions for those already exercising regularly, there really is something to suit all ages and abilities. Not only are they free to do, but you can access them whenever is convenient for you, so they’re easy to fit around a busy schedule. With a home workout you don’t need expensive equipment, or to worry about what you’re wearing.
Take a look at our Active at Home pages for some ideas and inspiration.
A local park, is a fantastic place to get active outdoors in the fresh air. As well as being a scenic space for walking or running, local parks may feature organised activities, green gyms, playgrounds and skateparks – meaning they’re great places for getting fit for free.
Take a look to see if your local park features a green gym – free to use outdoor exercise equipment. Even if your local park doesn’t have a bespoke green gym, there are lots of ways to get active using the trees and benches – take a look at these suggestions from This Girl Can.
Some parks even put on outdoor exercise sessions – for example Boultham Park in Lincoln, are currently offering a running club and lunchtime fitness sessions for only £2 a session – find out more on their website.
If you have children, parks are a great place for a kickabout with a ball or other active game. Older children might enjoy skateboarding – take a look at our list of skateboard parks in Lincolnshire here. Why not take inspiration from this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert, and give it a go yourself!
Free and low cost activities and sessions
Lots of clubs and activity providers offer taster sessions, allowing you to try a sport or activity for free before committing to signing up or purchasing kit.
Your local community centre, leisure centre, or village hall might have sessions on offer for low cost. Some of these may be targeted to specific groups or people, such as older adults.
Walking sports including cricket, football and netball take place across the county for just a small charge each week. Most, but not all sessions are aimed at over 50s. The first session to give it a try is often free, and Holbeach Hub are at the time of writing offering free walking football and softball cricket sessions for over 50s.
If you’re a Lincolnshire resident doing less than 150 minutes of activity a week, you might qualify for free support to help you become more active from One You Lincolnshire. Take a look at their web page for more information on how to self refer to their Move More programmes.
Search for ‘Free and low cost activities’ on our activity finder for more suggestions of activities near to you.
Make sure you follow our social media channels to keep up to date with more free and low cost activities that we’ll be continuing to share.