Back to normal after COVID19: How to get fit and healthy on a budget


COVID19 has significantly impacted the UK economy across a range of industries. Following the second quarter (April to June), the UK economy is in a recession with a record slump of 20.4% which is largely attributable to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports. This has resulted in redundancies and widespread job uncertainty. A recent report by the ONS, highlighted that the number of jobs available fell by as much as 750,000 (2.5% decrease) during July compared to March. Furthermore, the ONS reported that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits dramatically increased to 2.7 million in July, compared with March – an increase of 117%.

As we begin to recover from the COVID19 pandemic, many are feeling the financial squeeze as a result of significant pressure placed on companies which are passed on to employees. This has resulted in the need to be more reserved with spending in order to uphold financial stability. At the same time, keeping fit and healthy has never been more of a priority. COVID19 has exposed the vulnerabilities in the nation’s health, characterised by increased mortality rates and health complications such as obesity. Researchers have already managed to establish a link between obesity and a heightened risk of COVID-related mortality. The UK has one of the highest obesity rates in Europe – making the issue even more pertinent for us.

But how can the millions of people across Britain whose jobs have been lost thanks to the health crisis manage to keep fit? What’s the best way to stay healthy for those of us who haven’t got the money to pay for a gym membership every month? For Britons who are looking to shed a few pounds without breaking the bank to pay for classes every week, how else can they get in shape?

  • Hit the Tarmac

You don’t need a gym membership or treadmill to give yourself an intense workout. For millions of people across the UK, running is their exercise of choice – and they usually do it in the great outdoors. The good thing about running is that not only is it a great way to get in shape, but you can get started pretty much immediately for little to no cost.

What do you need to start your journey as a jogger? Not much: grab some comfortable clothes suitable for exercise and a pair of inexpensive, comfy trainers and you’re pretty much set. If you’re the sort of person who likes to work out to a beat, a cheap pair of earphones wouldn’t go amiss either!

  • Check Out YouTube

If you’re not a YouTube person, you might check it out every so often for the news or funny videos. But you’re probably not aware that there are entire communities of channels dedicated to home workouts that require little to no equipment to do.

All you need for these routines is an hour out of your day and a little space. If you decide on giving one of YouTube’s countless yoga courses a go, a cheap mat would make your workouts a lot comfier!

  • Stay healthy by sourcing high quality, cost-effective treatments

Staying healthy while doctor and GP appointments are limited can be difficult. Face to face contact is still preferentially avoided, which can add waiting times to bookings and follow-ups. That’s why sourcing important medication can be a cost-effective solution to getting treatments delivered conveniently and quickly.

Pharmica is an online pharmacy based in London, dedicated to offering high-quality treatments, excellent customer service and the very best patient aftercare. Pharmica also has a Pharmica Price Promise which is a ‘lowest price guarantee’ offering, whereby, if you manage to find lower prices for prescription medications sold by another registered UK online pharmacy, then they’ll refund the difference! With times being difficult at the moment financially, this kind of commitment to supporting customer health and well-being is welcomed.

  • Use Household Items as Weights

Hey, you see those canned goods in the cupboard? They’re not just useful for containing food, you know. If you’re hard-up and still looking to give your muscles a good workout, using canned foods or other household items as weights is a perfectly fine way to do it.

Obviously, we’re not saying you should just do bicep curls with a tin of soup. But if you’re living frugally, it’s likely that you have some spare plastic shopping bags lying around. So next time you have a few free minutes at home, try loading a couple of bags with some canned food and giving your arms a quick run-through. It doesn’t have to be just curls, either – you can imitate all sorts of traditional dumbbell lifts with household items. Give it a go!

  • Download a Home Fitness App

If jogging doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, don’t worry – there are countless apps you can download for your smartphone that feature short workouts you can do from the comfort of your living room.

These routines tend to focus on a variety of different exercises, including core building, cardio, and muscle building routines. And the best part is that they can be anywhere from a quick burn to a fully-fledged session – so you can get a workout in no matter how much time you have.

  • Swap the Bus for a Bike

If you live in an urban area and commute, there’s a good chance you’re taking the bus or underground to get where you need to go. But if you’re looking to get in better shape, one of the most effective ways to do it is by changing how you get to work and back.

Think about it. If you work a nine-to-five job five days a week and commute half an hour each way on the bus, that’s five hours a week you’re spending sitting down on public transport. Sure, it might take a little longer to get to work and back on a bike instead of a bus. But making that change would mean getting multiple hours’ exercise a week taking a journey you would have done anyway. So put the travel card away and get pedaling!


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