11 alternative ways to get fit in Gloucestershire
From energetic Zumba classes to creative circus skills, discover some of the funniest and most unusual ways to get active in Gloucestershire – and we promise running isn’t one of them!
So grab your sweatbands and get ready to feel the burn, because SoGlos rounds up 11 of the best alternative ways to get in shape.
1. Reach new heights at the Warehouse Climbing Center in Gloucester
A great way to develop both your mind and your body, rock climbing is a fantastic option for getting active, no matter your age or ability. The all-inclusive sport works a variety of muscle groups, back, abdominal muscles and legs as well as fingers, shoulders and arms.
Regular rock climbing can improve your overall endurance and is known to improve mental focus as well as coordination, with Warehouse Climbing Center providing the perfect opportunity to try it out.
2. Try pole dancing
From speeding up your metabolism to increasing your strength and flexibility, pole dancing is a great way to work your whole body while channeling your inner Moulin Rouge!
Helping to improve heart health, balance and self-confidence, it’s more than dazzling outfits and sky-high heels – and with venues in Cheltenham and Gloucester led by friendly and inspiring instructors, Momentum Pole & Aerial is an excellent starting point.
3. Find your rhythm with Zumba
What better way to get moving than to go dancing? A Latin-inspired combination of cardio and dance, Zumba is a fun and enjoyable way to get up and go.
A mix of high and low intensity exercise, interval training is great for reducing stress levels, building endurance and improving blood pressure. Plus, anyone can participate, with regular classes at county recreation centers.
4. Embrace creative circus skills
Offering a blend of yoga, acrobatics and gymnastics, circus techniques are growing in popularity due to their health benefits and creative exercises.
Improving strength, coordination and flexibility, participants can look forward to an exciting and invigorating workout on everything from trapeze and aerial hoop to acrobatics. Try Cotswolds School of Larks for a fun introduction.
5. Test your balance with the stand up paddle
Offering a more leisurely and peaceful approach to exercise, stand up paddleboarding is a fantastic way to experience a soothing body workout on the water.
Known for being a low impact workout, paddleboarding is a great way to increase strength while protecting ligaments and tendons, as well as gently aiding injury recovery. Sport can also help with balance, weight loss and improved cardiovascular health – and with a host of waterways, Gloucestershire is a great place to get involved.
6. Try geocaching
Get out into the great outdoors to hunt ‘caches’ in Gloucestershire. This advanced form of treasure hunting calls on your orienteering skills – using GPS coordinates to help you find a series of ‘caches’.
Fans believe that getting into research is a great way to exercise while focusing on something other than exercise. This keeps you aware and in the moment, with the feeling of reward for having successfully tracked down your cache by lifting spirits as well.
7. Let the good times roll on roller skates
Strap on some roller skates for some good old-fashioned nostalgic fun on the move. Not only will you arrive faster, but it will also put a smile on your face.
With the Honeybourne line from Cheltenham and the old Severn and Wye railway line from the Forest of Dean providing a route that was smooth enough to zip around. And if you really get into it, you can join a local roller derby league to add an extra challenge too.
8. Tackle Underwater Rugby
Dive deep to move a weighted ball from one end of the pool to the other to beat your opponents in this unusual six-man contact sport. Wearing masks, snorkels and flippers, the players hold their breath to defend their goal and tackle their opponents.
Gloucestershire Barracudas welcome new faces every Wednesday at 7pm at Leisure at Cheltenham – and the first session is free, to see how you do. Gloucestershire is a hotspot for the sport, with the headquarters of the British Underwater Rugby Association also based in Gloucester.
9. Grab your glow sticks for the clubbercise
Embrace your disco diva and hit the dance floor for a fun cardio workout with friends, with the clubbercise letting dance fans of all ages go wild in a dark room with disco lights and glow sticks at hand.
Embracing a range of dance and combat moves, instructors estimate you can burn 500 calories in an hour. With dozens of courses across Gloucestershire to choose from, you can take part in a clubbercise session when it suits you.
10. Saddle up for horseback riding
Gloucestershire is known for its unbridled passion for equestrianism and with many stables dotted around the county, you can easily find a friendly community to join.
The British Horse Society says trotting can burn up to 600 calories per ride and is great for strengthening core, thigh and pelvic muscles. He also claims that horseback riding boosts self-confidence and also reduces stress and anxiety.
11. Join a gardening club
The benefits of gardening have proven beneficial for so many people during the pandemic, with many people realizing how good it can be for mental and physical health. Backed by science, the RHS indicates that the number of calories burned in 30 minutes of gardening is comparable to playing badminton, volleyball or yoga.
If you’re not sure where to start, a garden club offers advice on cultivation as well as a sense of community and a chance to make new friends, with many groups across Gloucestershire ready to welcome new ones. members.