words by Molly Jennings

With Christmas looming, (yes, we’ve decided its seasonally appropriate to mention the C word!) we are all increasingly becoming more wallet-wary. With late-night shopping, and plenty of Christmasy markets and events, we can all admit, we have a slight tendency to splash the cash! So how can we accommodate all of our festive expenses? Suspend your gym membership and workout for less! Here are some fun, cheap ways to keep your luscious limbs in shape this Winter!

Skip to the beat
Skipping is such a fun way to include some exercise into your day for very little money and is great for your health in many ways. It can be used for both anaerobic and aerobic exercise, so whether you’re a Usain Bolt or more of a Mo Farah, skipping will definitely tick your boxes! As well as improving co-ordination, stability and rhythm, skipping can also help osteoporosis, a condition that affects the bones causing them to become weak and fragile. The reason is because jumping is a high impact activity. High impact activity helps build bone density and increases levels of calcium. We adore this skipping rope from Sweaty Betty! http://www.sweatybetty.com/skipping-rope-prodsb223_pink/

Take the stairs
This is such an easy one to incorporate into your lifestyle. When you’re faced with the choice to opt for the stairs, chose them. I know, it’s so tempting to take the escalators but tackling the stairs is so good for your body. If you think about it, stair climbing is like a walking lunge. It will help tone and tighten your thighs and bum and your abs will kick in too! Aside from lovely legs, you’ll also be increasing your stamina, which will improve your body’s ability to exercise longer and faster. Stairs pack a surprising punch!

Walk it out
A little adjustment you can make is walking more. Like skipping, walking is an impact movement that will help increase bone density. Plus, it can also improve digestion, I know that it does mine. Sometimes after a meal, I’ll take a walk to get things moving again (especially after something heavy like a Sunday roast!). One study showed that walking can actually increase energy levels too. A super effective way to kick that afternoon slump in the butt is to head outside into the fresh air for a brisk walk. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body. Other than that, the daylight will boost your vitamin D levels. Walking is definitely a winner!

The TV Workout
H&H has gone Jane Fonda! It sounds like a totally lazy way to exercise but it can be really enjoyable, especially if you’re with a friend. I know, I should really be telling you to turn the TV off and go do a real workout outside, but lets face it, that old episode of Friends that you’ve watched countless times is beckoning! So, here’s my suggestion. Pick a character from any TV show or movie you love, and then pick a word that they say a lot. Every time they say that word you have to do 30 lunges, or hold a 60 second plank. Whatever floats your boat! Or write out a mini cardio circuit and perform it every time there’s an advert break! Interval training just got interesting! Find creative ways to workout at home. Use the edge of your sofa for some tricep dips or grab 2 cans of baked beans and bust out some weighted squats, you just have to use your imagination!

Image from www.victoriassecret.com