CAP Column – August 2020

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Get fit for free this summer

As we emerge from the recent lockdown into a ‘new normal’, we may plan to get fitter and more active. Research by Ipsos Mori and King’s College London states that nearly half of us in the UK have put on weight during the lockdown. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you do want to get into shape, we have some great tips to share with you. CAP Life Skills, which is run through churches all over the country, aims to equip members to live healthier and happier lives, physically, financially and mentally. Here are some tips from the course to help you live more healthily, even on a tight budget.

It’s not all about the gym

Even when gyms are allowed to reopen, a membership may be unaffordable for you. But there are plenty of free or low cost ways to exercise. Why not look online for free workout videos to get started?

If you feel you’re not a healthy weight, it may be possible for your doctor to refer you to a local fitness class or a diet club such as Slimming World. Get in touch with your doctor to find out what support is available.

Get fit while commuting to work

When money’s tight, you may need to cut down on transport costs. Look at this as a great opportunity to get exercise into your day by walking or cycling to work (or part of the journey). You may be able to pick up a free or low-cost second-hand bike through a local bike recycling scheme. Get in touch with your local council to see what’s available in your area.

Free apps and websites may help us reach our fitness goals

Everyone seems to be talking about the free Couch to 5K app at the moment. Why not give it a try? The app offers a gentle approach to building up your fitness level with guidance. All you need is a smartphone and a pair of trainers.

You’ll also find some great fitness ideas online at nhs.uk/live-well.

We can still eat healthily on a budget

Whether we’re dieting, on a budget, or both, we all want to make yummy meals that our family will love. Research from Forbes.com and the University of Dundee suggests that creating a meal plan and cooking using fresh ingredients can help to lower costs. Package up any leftovers and either pop them in the freezer for when you need a quick meal, or use them for tomorrow’s lunch.

Check out the reduced section in your local supermarket for a bargain or two, but avoid getting pulled in by unnecessary purchases. CAP Life Skills encourages members to shop with a list and stick to it. If you find a reduced item that’s on your list, go for it!

You’ll find some great money-saving meal ideas online, such as jamieoliver.com/family/money-saving-recipes or cookingonabootstrap.com.

Why not join a CAP Life Skills group?

Many CAP Life Skills groups are currently running online and would love to welcome new members. Visit caplifeskills.org to find out more and search for your nearest group.

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Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity which, through local churches, delivers debt counselling, money management, job clubs, life skills groups, and support for people breaking habitual dependencies. 

Visit capuk.org to find out more.