Can I Save Money and Still Get Fit?

For as long as I can remember I’ve pretty much always had a gym membership. My challenge for this year though is to see if I can do without this membership, still get fit but save money at the same time.

Time for running on Dartmoor

You may know that we (that’s my family of husband, 2 children and a black lab), moved to Devon about 18 months ago – we felt that there was more to life and it was time for us to explore a different lifestyle.

Initially we lived in a rural village, near Kingsbridge in South Hams. We recently moved though to Yelverton, near Tavistock – a move mainly for the children’s education, more of that another time.

Prior to moving to Devon, I always had a gym membership on the go. I was a regular visitor to the gym too, not one of the many who have all good intentions at the start of the year but rapidly see their visit numbers decline.

Whilst in South Hams, I spent a lot of time outside, tending our hens, vegetable patch and polytunnel, as well as walking our dog. Added to this were frequent visits to the coast for surfing. I did enough exercise to keep as fit as I felt I needed.

Since our move I haven’t had so much to do outside. The time of year is not great for veg growing etc and we’ve sadly no longer got the hens or the polytunnel. I just have a vegetable patch, currently looking very sad and overgrown, and a greenhouse that’s in need of some new glass, to replace those lost in stormy weather.

Living now as we do on the edge of Dartmoor, walking our dog has offered a fair bit of exercise and enjoyment. However, it’s not feeling to me as if I’m doing enough.

I’m also approaching 50 years old. Not something I want to shout too loudly about but the fact is I will be soon be in the 50+ bracket. I don’t feel it and I want to make sure I stay that way. I want to do as much as I can to keep my body in trim, even if the years are ticking by.

So, I’m putting together an exercise plan.

The key is I want to try and do this without resorting to using a gym – I want to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible (yes rain or shine) and want to save money.

So, my plan will revolve around

  • walking and running on Dartmoor – the photo above was taken within walking distance of our house so there’s plenty of open land to use
  • doing exercises to build up my quads – I had an operation to replace my Anterior Cruciate Ligament in my left knee some years ago and whilst it’s pretty sound I know I need to build the strength back up in my quads if I’m going to have any chance of avoiding trouble with my knee
  • using an exercise DVD – not too sure about this one as I have tried them before and not got on very well. This part of the plan involves a cost but I’m happy with that as it’s relatively small and a one-off. A friend has told me that the Davina McCall is a good one to go with so I’ll get that and give it a try.

I’m also going to try and improve my diet. I love biscuits and cake too much!! I’m not going to cut them all out, just going to cut them down. Somehow if I tell my body I’m on diet, I do nothing but crave food. I become obsessed with eating! I wouldn’t mind but under normal circumstances whilst I like my food, I’m not obsessed with it!

I certainly need to reduce my intake of biscuits – for example I managed to eat 4 digestives earlier with a single cup of coffee. Not good.

I need to be careful that I don’t kid myself that I can eat more because I’ve been exercising – fallen into that trap before and I’m sure I’m not alone.

So my challenge is starting. I’ll get it into final shape over the next few days. Meantime I’m going start doing a bit of running whilst walking the dog so that I can gradually build up my stamina.

I’ve just checked and my current weight is about 59Kg which was a little shock as this is a good couple of kilos higher than I’ve been for a long while. So whilst I’m more interested in body tone than losing weight, I’d quite like to lose a little if I can to get back to nearer 57kg.

Here we go then, come back soon to see my plan and how I’m doing – and if you can leave a comment, ideally with some motivational comments as I’ll be needing all the help I can get!

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