Be more sustainable: skip the gym

Some people love the gym, but most of us will do everything in our power to actively avoid going. Well, luckily I’m here to give you the perfect excuse to ditch that 6am Tuesday morning spin class: the world would be a better place if exercise gyms didn’t exist.

Fitness clubs (especially these new fangled tech-driven, open 24hrs a day ones), use a WHOPPING amount of energy to power their heating, lighting, air conditioning, electronic gym equipment, sound systems, TVs, hair dryers… I could go on.

Now, I’m not suggesting we should all give up exercise: far from it in fact. But there are many alternative forms of exercise which aren’t quite so energy-intensive. This week’s ask in the Sustainable Revolution, is to cancel your gym membership and find a different way of getting your blood pumping (suggestions below!). Not only will you be more sustainable, but the majority of the activities are FREE, and they involve being outside – helping you to get your Vitamin D and improve your mental health. Quite literally a win,win,win.

Running
With marathon season underway and the days getting longer and warmer, now is the PERFECT time to ditch the treadmill and start exploring your local parks and pavements. If you want a bit of motivation, check out Parkrun – a free 5km run, open to all, every Saturday morning at 9am. It happens in loads of locations all over the country (and the world!), and if you go regularly, you’ll soon make some new friends.
For those who want to feel EVEN MORE VIRTUOUS on their weekly run, maybe have a look at GoodGym – a fitness club which combines running with completing activities for the local community (such as gardening, moving stuff, painting etc).

Cycling
A cracking way to explore your local area, and it’s completely free (assuming you have a bike – if not, check out freecycle or preloved to pick up a bargain). For anyone who’s not been on two wheels in a while and needs a bit of encouragement, most councils offer free cycling skills sessions. Just head to your local council website to found out more.

Fitness Classes
There are a surprising number of fitness classes which are held in local parks: Bootcamps, pilates and HIIT to name but a few. Whilst some of them will charge you some dollar, OurParks is a cool new initiative to offer free fitness classes in all boroughs across London. Time Out also has a great article suggesting some other fitness classes across the city which won’t cost you a thing.

Swimming
Ever been outdoor (or wild) swimming? Find some local spots to take a dip on this map.

… just really love the gym?
Did you know there are such things as OUTDOOR GYMS?! Yep that’s right, and they’re free! Find your closest one here.

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