Weightlifting costs about £31 per pound lost if you choose a “vigorous” workout. Photo: Danielle Cerullo/Unsplash
Weightlifting costs about £31 per pound lost if you choose a “vigorous” workout. Photo: Danielle Cerullo/Unsplash

Brits have made 22 million visits to the gym since COVID-19 restrictions eased in July – proving that even during the pandemic, many are trying to maintain fitness. Or, perhaps, lose a few of the pounds gained in lockdown.

But with many feeling the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which workouts are the most cost-effective?

If you’d prefer to exercise without shelling out for memberships and sessions, stick to running, which costs just £10 ($13) per pound lost on the treadmill at a speed of 10 miles per hour, analysis by Ocean Finance found.

Cycling is also a cost-effective way to shift a few pounds, with “vigorous” spinning costing about £17 for every pound lost.

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Some time on the elliptical trainer, ski machine or doing step aerobics can also be an affordable way to lose weight, costing about £19 per pound lost.

On the other end of the scale, although many may enjoy bragging about the amount they can lift, weightlifting is the least cost-effective workout.

Weightlifting costs about £31 per pound lost if you choose a “vigorous” workout, or a shocking £61 if you take it a bit easier, the research found.

Meanwhile, water aerobics (£46), calisthenics (£40) and cross training (£36) are similarly costly.

When it comes to sports, high-impact games like rugby and squash are the most cost-effective, at £15 and £17 per pound lost, respectively – further demonstrating the importance of intensive cardio on value-for-money calorie burn.

The most cost-effective gym workouts. Chart: Ocean Finance
The most cost-effective gym workouts. Chart: Ocean Finance

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Basketball and hockey follow closely behind,