By Michaela Gray
WANT to avoid the dreaded Heathrow Injection? There’s no need to commit to a costly gym membership or personal trainer with so many free fitness groups meeting all over London.
Create an exercise regime that’s fun, social and will give you buns of steel in no time.
Strap on your skates or rollerblades and join dozens of thrill seekers on a tour of London like you’ve never seen it before. London Friday Night Skate and Sunday Stroll has all bases covered – marshals (on skates) to alert traffic, a portable sound system blaring funky beats and events catering for experienced or novice skaters. Even if you’re not keen on taking part this is a spectacle worth seeing, pick a spot along the route to watch the daredevils race past.
Exercise at your own pace in the great outdoors at one of dozens of outdoor gyms in London. Cardio, strength and tone equipment caters for all levels of fitness and come without the pressure of a gym instructor breathing down your neck. Outdoors gyms don’t cost a cent and are open around the clock.
There’s no water boarding or nail pulling, though some would consider it torture – British Military Fitness is certainly not for the feint hearted. With sessions run outdoors rain, hail or shine, these are fitness classes for those after a serious workout. You don’t need to be an athlete to get started but you sure will become one, or die trying. Take advantage of the free trial offer to see if it’s for you.
Hit me baby
Following Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win, the UK is keen to generate more tennis stars. Tennis for Free is exactly that, just don’t tell the instructors you’re a Kiwi.
Explore Greater London on one of hundreds of tried and tested walks. Writer and walker David Cotton has put together an incredibly detailed log of 800 wandering routes in Britain that will get you off the couch and into the countryside.
Run wild and free
There’s no need to wait for the London Marathon when you can get a 5km dose of running every weekend. Held at lush parklands across London, you can enjoy the scenery while wishing you hadn’t drunk so much the night before or had that second serving of dinner.
Roll with the times
Cycling is all the rage – it’s a free mode of transport, environmentally friendly and gives you great legs. So if you never learned how to ride then you’re really missing out. Borrow a bike from a buddy and sign up for a free class through TFL. You’ll be road ready in no time without being a danger to motorists.
Ladies can take advantage of an entire month of free fitness events this September, sponsored by clothing brand Sweaty Betty. Get Fit 4 Free aims to promote new fitness trends to shake up your standard run-around-the-block routine.
With green spaces all over London there’s nothing but a lack of imagination stopping you from getting fit. Get a group of friends together and head to your nearest park for a game of touch football, shoot hoops or challenge each other to a push up contest. Make a day of it by taking a picnic, just watch out for the squirrels.
Jump on to Gumtree UK to check out a range of sporting groups and personal trainers offering free trials. It’s an ideal way to find out what you like before committing to a membership. Teams advertise here for new players and you can place your own ad for free if you want to start your own team or group of like-minded fitness fanatics.