Keeping Fit in London on a Budget
Let’s be honest here, London is an expensive city. Rent, transport, bills, nights out, it all adds up and it’s easy to prioritise a new pair of shoes or topping up your holiday savings over an expensive gym membership each month.
As I have come to learn over the past couple of years, working out in London doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. There’s the obvious option of working out in your local park or going for runs, but I wanted to dig a little deeper than that and give you some genuinely awesome options for keeping fit and strong on a shoestring budget, so I’ve compiled a list of free and super cheap ways to keep fit in London…
Yoga – Yep, you read correctly, free. A yoga class in London will set you back anywhere between £12-20 on average, but some well-known fitness brands run their own free, in-store yoga sessions. Check out Lulu Lemon, Nike Town and Sweaty Betty to start with.
Nike NTC classes – Nike have an awesome network of free fitness classes and groups all around London which you can easily sign up for on their Facebook page. I used to go to the women’s NTC class at Oxford Circus for a weekly butt-kicking and I warn you, they’re very intense (but so satisfying when you finish)!
Running groups – Joining your local running group is not only a very cheap way to keep fit, it’s also a great way to meet some like-minded people. Check out big brands such as Nike, Sweaty Betty, as well as your local council, or find a running club online.
Outdoor Gyms – This was one of the things that impressed me most when I first moved to London – free outdoor gym equipment in a fun ‘playground’ style. There are over 500 of these across the UK with many located in London’s parks, so chances are that you will either work or live in close range to one of them. Machines range from cardio-based treadmills and cross trainers to weight-based leg press and lat pull down equipment. You can find a list of locations in London here.
You can also find a map of London’s best outdoor fitness trails, including obstacle courses and calisthenics equipment here.
Strava – If you’re a bit of a lone wolf with a competitive streak for running or cycling, download the Strava app onto your phone and compete with other people in London who take the same route as you through London. It’s a really fun way to get motivated, push yourself harder and keep track of all your workouts.
No Frills Gyms – London has a great range of cheap, ‘no frills’ gyms available for as little as £10-20 per month, which is an absolute bargain and pretty much as cheap as it gets in this city. These gyms normally have 1 or 2 staff members working but you don’t ever tend to see them. Their equipment covers the basics for cardio and weight training, and PT’s are available for an additional cost. Some gyms also run classes which will set you back an additional £5 on average per class. Check out your local council gyms, Fit Space, The Gym Group, Easy Gym, or Simply Gym.
No Lights No Lycra – If you’re not a fan of the gym and prefer some alternative workouts, NLNL is a regular night in East London which is all about switching off the lights and dancing your heart out in total darkness for an hour each week to amazing playlists. It’s a booze-free event and the beauty of dancing in the dark means even people as uncoordinated as me will have fun. It’s on every Tuesday night at 7:30pm in a Hackney warehouse and only sets you back £4, which is cheaper than any exercise class you’ll do and way more fun. It’s also a great way to meet some new people if you hang around after class for a chat. Check out their FB page for more info.
Boris Bikes – If you don’t have the budget to buy yourself a bicycle, you can hire a Boris Bike to ride around London. They’re quite heavy and not the fastest things on the road, but they’re still lots of fun and a good way to commute in the warmer months. Bikes are super cheap to hire, free if you use them for less than 30 minutes and environmentally friendly! Check out their website to find docking stations, costs and anything else.
Do you have any other suggestions of cheap ways to keep fit in London? Let me know in the comments