Get in shape on a budget

The summer is finally here! And as the sun comes out, the clothes come off, so there’s never been a better time to get in shape. But gym memberships and exercise classes can be costly. Here are some great money-saving ways to keep fit for less.

Get some Murray magic If Andy Murray’s historic Wimbledon win has inspired you to dust off your tennis racket, you’ll be pleased to know that the fantastic Tennis For Free charity offers free court access and free coaching for children, teenagers and adults. Visit Tennis for Free and type in your postcode to find the free courts and sessions available near you.

Play in the park This isn’t as daft an idea as it sounds! The Great Outdoor Gym Company has teamed up with lots of local councils to fit out parks with gym equipment that is totally free to use. Go to The Great Outdoor Gym Company to find a free gym near you. There are 390 nationwide.

Search for classes online If you have access to a computer, then visit blinkx – a video streaming search engine that has access to hundreds of first-rate videos of all types of exercise classes, from zumba and yoga to aerobics and salsa. The content is constantly updated, so you can either work out to your favourites or try something new every time.

Buy cheap gym passes Payasugym sells passes for 1,050 sports centres across the UK that are cheaper than paying the gym directly. Simply register, enter your postcode to browse nearby fitness centres and load your account to buy passes. Then show your email or text confirmation when you arrive at the establishment’s reception. Payasugym currently have a deal where you can earn a £5 credit simply by tweeting, ‘liking’ on Facebook and e-mailing just three friends about the gym network.

Download a free fitness app If you have a smartphone, you can actually download apps that will help you work out for nothing. Teemo for iPhones lets you turn exercise into a social game where you invite Facebook friends to a virtual challenge in a specific environment, like a jungle or desert. Participants win by doing expert-approved cardio, strength and flexibility exercises which range from easy to difficult. Alternatively, the free fitness app from Bupa is suitable for iPhones and Android handsets and can be used to assess your current fitness levels before devising a personalised four-week exercise plan with step-by-step instructions and video demonstrations of each exercise.

Go on, feel the burn!

Andrea Ventress, money expert

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