Getting fit without joining a club

Try these, easy-access options to get fit.

IMPORTANT:  If you are not already active and have any concerns, speak to your GP’s surgery before you start.

Walking with mates
On average we walk about 3,000-4,000 steps each day, so try to build up gradually until you’re doing 10,000 steps each day.

  • Choose routes or create a theme for your walk so it doesn’t just feel like a slog round the streets.
  • Many music players and mobile phones have pedometer functions as standard. As a gauge, you’ll do around 1,000 steps with 10 minutes’ brisk walking.
  • Take water with you, protect your skin if it’s bright or sunny, and wear trainers to ease shock absorption on your joints.

Know your local park

From tennis courts to simple assault courses many parks have activities that are free, or cheap to hire.

  • Your local council’s website will list all the parks in the borough and list the activities on offer.
  • Check out the park noticeboard or cast your eye around –are there any informal running clubs or other sports going on? Many of these are casually run so don’t feel shy asking to join in.

Back garden sports
This might be just what you need before you venture out in a tracksuit in public!

  • Try badminton – a shuttlecock is less likely to disappear over your neighbour’s fence than a tennis ball. Improvise with a washing-line ‘net’ and the kids’ badminton set to see if it suits you before investing in proper racquets.
  • Get a skipping rope and revisit your old playground skills.
  • If space is limited, try Swingball.

Savvy tip
‘Build’ your own sporty regime for your week. Eg swimming xx-many lengths on Monday and Friday at the pool, one hour of badminton with hubby on Saturday, and maybe shooting some (netball) hoops at the park with friends on Wednesday evening. In between, add a moderate jog around your nearest pretty green space or a bike ride for midweek grocery shopping.

Pass it on – inspired rides
For safe cycle routes and great walks with wonderful views go to the Enjoy England website for great ideas near you.