Time for another ‘Things to do in Britain When You’re Broke’ article, and today we’re looking at a few ideas for free and very cheap fitness classes and groups. After all, not everyone is a self-starter when it comes to exercise and many of us find it more motivating to attend a class at a set time or to join in with others.
For most free fitness in your area, the best place to start is by checking with your local council. Classes often include yoga, gentle exercise for seniors, and all-ages dance. Some may be free for all, and others may be subsidised or free for key workers, people on benefits, students and anyone who’s retired. Other local resources could include free swimming sessions or free use of courts, exercise trails and pitches.
It’s also worth checking at:
- your nearest library
- church halls
- arts or community centres
- local online noticeboards and listings sites
- Meetup.com (Fitness category, plenty of free events)
Run with a friendly group
The parkrun initiative runs free weekly, timed 5K runs around the world for adults and juniors. They’re open to anyone who wants to join, and if there isn’t one already in your community then they’ll help you to set one up. Sign up via their website before attending.
Tone and stretch with top instructors
For yoga, pilates and other free workouts try sports clothing retailer Sweaty Betty, who hold regular events at their shops. If you don’t live near a shop, they have videos of the classes on their site, plus other free fitness challenges and events.
Try some free tennis coaching
Tennis fans can enjoy free court time and free coaching sessions for all ages and levels of ability via Tennis For Free, a community sports charity. Check their website to see what’s on offer near you.
Get fit, make friends, and save the environment
For a less formal way to exercise for free, try one of the many ‘Green Gyms’ around the country. These are sessions where you can help the environment and improve your health at the same time by doing practical conservation work such as digging and planting. Originally run by TCV, these are now organised by local volunteers.
This is part one of a two-part article – hope you’re feeling inspired to look for some free/cheap fitness classes near you. Please add your own tips and ideas as well.