How to keep fit without getting tied into a long-term gym contract

If you aren’t too sure how long you’ll be staying in your new expat home, then you probably won’t want to commit to a one or two-year gym contract just to keep fit and you’d rather go with something short-term. It’s easy to let exercise slip when monthly gym payments aren’t being debited from your account and you’ve already got a busy schedule with settling in at work and making yourself comfortable in a new city. So how can you start and stick to an exercise routine without letting your fitness, and the mental health benefits that come with it, slip away? Here are a few ideas:

MeetUp is a great way to find societies in your area. I found a donation based yoga class in Frankfurt, which allows flexibility, has great people and most importantly no obligatory contract.

Start running
Running does not only increase your stamina but is also a great way to become familiar with the new area you live in. I didn’t start running until I’d been in Frankfurt for a while but I wish I’d begun earlier. Since starting to run I’ve discovered so many short-cuts, new parks and cafes I’d like to visit.

Working out from home allows you to easily fit exercise into a tight schedule. It requires discipline but once you find a few good YouTube videos and start seeing improvements, it will motivate you to make the time for your home workouts. I sometimes go to my yoga class and then do a few YouTube video sessions at home too.

Find a Fitness First Friend
If you’re based in Frankfurt, I know that MyZeil and Konstablerwache Fitness First allow members to bring a friend for free on Fridays. If you know or meet someone who is a member, perhaps you could go along with them every now and then.

Use Facebook
There are plenty of expat Facebook groups with people ready to try new things, work out and meet new people. Why not write a quick post to see if anyone would like to join you for an outdoor workout in the park? Perhaps you’ll make a weekly routine of it and find even more people who want to join.

Hopefully it will all work out in your new expat home and you’ll end up staying for the long run. It’s taken me almost two years to commit to a gym contract but exercising with other expats I found through Facebook groups and MeetUp has been amazing!


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