Since the pandemic began, we have all had to find new ways to manage our lives, from health, fitness, mental health, work and study schedules, family life and more. The important thing to remember is that you aren’t on your own. You won’t be the only one who has struggled during this time, and if your fitness and health have suffered, don’t be too hard on yourself, just know that you can turn things around and you aren’t alone. It also doesn’t have to break the bank if that is a concern.

Sometimes, looking at the end goal (for example a total weight loss or the length of a distance you want to be able to run) is too much and too overwhelming. Certainly in the early days you need to break it down into small chunks and take each day as it comes when working towards your goals. I started off by just going out for a walk every day on my lunchbreak. 30 minutes of walking a day may not sound a lot to some people, but to others it might seem huge. Find something that works for you. Using a calorie calculator can be a really useful tool if you have found that you have put on some weight and you want to work to lose it.

Combining such a tool, along with calorie counting your meals can be a really simple way to make a start in moving towards losing any weight you may wish to lose, as well as getting back into healthy habits. I’m not saying it will work for everyone though – if it did, then the UK diet market wouldn’t be worth £2bn a year! I have tried many diet and fitness plans over the year – and the key is finding what works for you.

I have definitely found that making small changes over time is a lot easier and more manageable than going all out on a full on fad or paid for diet. Going for a walk everyday would have seemed massive to me a year ago, and now, I miss it on the days I am not able to go. Meal planning and throwing in extra vegetables to every meal would also not have appealed to me prior to the pandemic, but I have gotten more creative in the kitchen, I’ve tried new recipes and found new ways of cooking things which are so yummy that I am eating healthier, spending less on processed and convenience foods and feeling better for it.

If you are already great in the kitchen and eating well, maybe your fitness is something you want to work on. Walking is a great, budget friendly activity, but also you can try YouTube, there are loads of free workout videos on there, or you could try a fitness app. Some do charge, or have up selling wthin them to try and get money out of you, but there are plenty of choice of free apps or resources online. I have also found some great second hand fitness gear (such as weights, DVDs and a yoga mat) at a charity (thrift) store or a car boot sale. Whilst not free, these are also super budget friendly ways to build up a home gym or resources to help you.