It’s the time of year when everyone promises themselves that they will get in shape, eat healthier and lead a generally better life – new year, new me… right? This newfound level of motivation can be short-lived if you don’t act fast, so don’t waste any time getting yourself into that healthy-living routine while you’re focused and raring to go.

Gyms are fully aware of the influx of members at the start of the year, which gives them a good opportunity to tie you into long and costly contracts. This kind of membership can potentially take a huge chunk out of your student loan and leave a grey cloud hanging over your fitness experience.

However, at most of our dwell sites, we have an on-site gym ready for you to take advantage of. As we don’t think your new year’s resolution should cost that much, so we’ve outlined our favourite ways to stay in shape on a student budget…

Invest in Some Workout DVDs

Just about every Z-list celebrity has brought out their own fitness DVD, and it doesn’t really matter which one you buy because they are generally all the same – so choose the celeb that will motivate you the most, and follow their instructions to help you achieve that summer bod.

You can choose to spend as much as you want on your fitness DVD, with prices ranging from 99p all the way up to £10. Some retailers are selling Mr Motivator’s BLT workout DVD (that’s bums, legs and tums – not the popular sandwich) for as little as £2.14– what a bargain.

Run and Ride

Running is one of the best ways to help you stay in shape, because it works several muscles at once and burns fat quickly. You don’t need access to a fancy treadmill to run, in fact you can take to the streets and experience the great outdoors – you certainly don’t get to feel the wind in your hair when you’re inside.

If you choose to run around your local park, you might find one of these outdoor gyms that are free for the public to use, where you can break up your run with a quick workout – and it won’t cost you a penny. If you choose to run outdoors, make sure you invest in a good pair of running trainers to avoid blisters and any other nasty injuries. Fortunately, online retailers sell trainers for as little as £10, which means you can take control of your fitness for minimal cost.

If you’re the proud owner of a bicycle, you may not know that you’re in possession of a money-saving machine. Riding a bike is a great way to stay in shape, with a 30-minute ride burning an average of 240 calories, meaning you can pedal your way to fitness without paying the hefty gym costs.

Swapping your usual form of transport for a bike can also help to save you money on travel costs. All that bus fare adds up, and most universities have bike storage facilities (as does our accommodation!), so you might even be able to save yourself some extra cash while you get in shape – there’s your funds for your new running trainers sorted.

Your Fitness Plan in Your Pocket

If you’ve got a smartphone, you’re probably guilty of playing Candy Crush instead of listening to your lecturer from time to time – it’s okay, we know it’s addictive. If you can make it past the games section of the App Store, you’ll find that there’s a whole load of useful resources that can help you get in shape. From diet plans to video yoga classes, there will be something that matches your fitness needs.

Seven is our favourite fitness app, as it gives you everything that you need to exercise as long as you’ve got a flat surface. The app is free, with premium access costing just £3.99 a month – much cheaper than the typical gym membership.

Uni Sports Teams

Take advantage of the various sports teams that your uni has to offer. Usually you can sign up for free, and committing to group activities is likely to keep you motivated throughout the year – especially if other people are relying on you.

It has been proved that exercising in a group is better for both your mental and physical health than working out alone, due to the healthy competitiveness that group sports offer. You never know, your team could end up winning a few competitions, which is always good to have on your CV.

Cash in on Deals

As a student, you’re probably well aware of the various websites that offer deals on all things retail and leisure, but did you know that they also offer a whole range of fitness discounts as well? Groupon, LivingSocial and NUS are your new best friends on your journey to get in shape. Look out for deals that offer discount on supplements, activewear and classes – and be quick, as they get snapped up in no time.

Staying in Shape Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

Give yourself the mental and physical stimulation that you need to keep yourself healthy and happy while at uni. Remember: once you’ve planned how you’re going to keep fit on your budget, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you keep it up.