Exercise is so important in our daily lives, as not only does it improve our physical health, but it can also be so beneficial for your mental well-being. While going to the gym works for some people, it’s not always the best option for others – and it can be costly, time consuming, and even quite intimating. Luckily, Manchester is a city filled with spots perfect for exercising in, which is why for National Fitness Day we have collated a list of ways you can get a sweat on without stepping foot in the gym.
One of the most obvious and easiest ways to exercise outside of the gym is to take your workout outdoors, because what does the outdoors have that a gym doesn’t? Tons of space! Which means you have so many more options of what form of exercise you can do – so here are our personal favourites.
Walking is often overlooked as a form of exercise but in reality, it is an extremely effective way of building up your stamina, burning calories, and improving your health. A brisk 10 minute walk each day is just as good as any other form of cardio and paired with a nice view it can be very enjoyable too. Media City in Salford Quays, is the perfect spot, bursting with a vibrant atmosphere, canal views, landmarks, and if you get tired from your walk, plenty of spaces to stop for a drink.
Heaton Park, located about 5 miles north of Manchester, is one of Manchester’s largest parks at 600 acres, making it ideal for avid runners, which many of you will know from our famous Parklife festival every year. The park has a large range of open and wooded trails meaning you can go back multiple times and never be short of spots to run along. If you like a bit more guidance, however, you will be happy to know that the park has also designed their own 5k route which will have you running past some of their most known sights.
Fancy getting away from the hustle and bustle of Manchester City Centre? Then the Holcombe Moor to Peel Tower hike might be the perfect workout for you. This hike requires a little more effort than your everyday leisurely stroll but the views at the end make it all worth it. Start at Ramsbottom station and make your way up to the tower – you’ll pass by rivers, woodlands, and plenty of local heritage sites before finding yourself at the tower where you get to enjoy spectacular views of Manchester. The total time of the hike is usually around 3 hours so why not make a day of it!
While traditional workouts are proven to be effective and can be quite enjoyable when paired with a great Manchester location, there are bound to be times when you want to spice things up a bit. We’ve put together some ideas of ways you can exercise for those days when you just don’t feel like going on another walk or a run.
It’s time to reach up into the loft and get the old skates out, or if you don’t have any you can buy quality roller skates from just £20 that will last you ages, provide you with heaps of fun, and burn those calories at the same time – it’s like you’re not even exercising! Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre has plenty of flat paving and paths perfect for skating on, as well as benches for you to take your skates on and off, and when you feel confident enough, you can always take your skates to Manchester’s canals to enjoy some more scenic routes.
From the synchronised gliding to the numerous laps around the rink, ice-skating really targets those legs and abdominal muscles making it a great workout, and now that we are approaching colder months, more and more ice rinks will start popping up around Manchester. But, before you take a trip to the ice rink this festive season, you can brush up on your skills at Planet Ice in Altrincham, which is open all year round – so if you fall in love with this form of exercise, there are no limitations on how often you can go.
Jumping is one the best forms of exercises you can possibly do and we’re not talking about the dreaded burpees! Instead, jumping on a trampoline can burn major calories, develop co-ordination, strengthen your bones, and so much more – and best of all, it’s so much fun for all ages and skill levels. We recommend KICKair, the North West’s largest trampoline park, to get your heartbeat racing, and it’s located right here in Manchester.
If you’re looking for something with more structure and an instructor that can guide you, an exercise class is always a good solution. There are plenty to choose from in Manchester but here’s a few that made it to the top of our list.
Barre fitness is a combination of yoga, pilates, and ballet and it works to improve your posture, increase flexibility, and define muscles. This form of exercise is low impact, so it uses low or no weights, and instead focuses on high repetitions – perfect if you’re a beginner or are returning after a long break from working out. We recommend trying RESET by FORM which is a studio in Central Manchester offering inclusive and friendly barre classes.
If weight loss is your goal, then Aerobic classes should be at the top of your list, not only because they are super effective calorie burners, but more importantly, they are great at improving heart and lung health, and bone and muscle strength. Given all of these positive effects, you might find the first few classes difficult to start with but in the long run, you will thank yourself for sticking with this top tier form of exercise.
TRIB3 is a totally unique workout class deigned to work all your muscles – including the ones you never knew you had! TRIB3 follows a simple but proven fitness strategy of high intensity interval training. Don’t be put off by the high intensity though, TRIB3 encourages first timers to join just as much as those who have been working out for years. You can set your own pace for the workout and the instructor will just be there to guide you, so If this sounds like something you could get into then luckily for you TRIB3 has 2 Manchester locations, one in Deansgate and the other in Circle Square.
So, there we have it, 9 ways to exercise in Manchester without having to go to the gym. Whether you like a traditional workout, a non-traditional workout, or more of a guided fitness class, we hope that we have inspired you to try a new form of exercise this National Fitness Day, and if you do try one of our recommendations, make sure to tag us in your socials!