Getting in shape doesn't have to take a heavy toll on your bank balance. Here’s how you can get fit on a budget.

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window. Here are five ways to get in shape for summer without breaking the bank.

1. Group training

If you’re new to exercise and not sure how to do basic exercises properly but you can’t afford a personal trainer, opt for small group training with some friends with a personal trainer. Most trainers offer this budget-friendly option at a much cheaper rate than one-on-one training. Small group training also offers the chance to make new friends. It also unleashes your competitive spirit and is great for making sure you don’t miss a session if you know your trainer and class-mates are waiting for you.

2. Join a team

Exercise doesn't and shouldn't be limited to a gym. Find a local soccer, hockey, tennis or rugby club in your area and sign up. It’s sociable and great exercise. Remember how much you enjoyed sport at school? Find that sport again and you could surprise yourself!

3. There's an app for that

Get out your phone and download one of the many different apps available – from ones that track your steps each day to apps that track your food intake or act as exercise journals, and others that offer full yoga or Pilates classes on the go. YouTube videos are also a great option, provided you use videos that are done by professionals and not the home-video style ones.

4. Challenge others

Start a challenge with your friends, family members and/or colleagues. You can do anything from a 30-day plank challenge to training for a local 5km or 10km race. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to keep you motivated and on track.

5. Move more

If group training is still too pricey an option, just try moving more in your day. Simple things such as parking far away from your destination and walking, taking the stairs wherever you go, carrying your groceries to your car rather than using the trolley, and walking your dog every evening all add up. Once you've made this a habit, increase your daily movements to things that get your heart rate up – try jumping jacks during advert breaks on TV or some squats while waiting for the kettle to boil. Those strange looks people give you will soon be admiring ones when the exercise starts changing your body.

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