No Gym? No Problem! Five ways to exercise without a gym membership

Posted 28 July 2022

The British Summer has finally arrived (although how long it’ll last is a mystery!).

While the weather is nice – or even when it isn’t – it’s so good to get outside and move in nature.

It’s a myth that you need to have a gym membership to be able to exercise.

Yes, it can be handy to have all the equipment set out in front of you in a space where you won’t get rained on, but if you’re in need of some no-gymspiration, here are some ways of exercising without a spending money on a gym membership:

Get on your bike!
Cycling is great for your legs and your cardiovascular system, and it’s equally great for your mental health. (Plus there’s nothing as satisfying as cycling past queues of traffic!)
And there’s no need to have a bike these days – many more cities are offering bike hire schemes which means you can use your own steam to get from A to B, rather than breathe in someone’s hot armpit on the bus!

Walk, run or jog
The NHS Couch to 5k app is a great option if you’re looking to get back into running, as is the Nike Run Club app which has loads of plans and workouts for you to follow. Remember: you don’t have to go at a million miles an hour for it to be a workout. It can be as simple as heading out of your front door and going for a walk.

Go live!
The internet is full of workout ideas, including all the fantastic free sessions available on the Gingerbread Instagram account, from yoga or Pilates to sound baths and strength training. Make it a family activity! Grab your phone, head to your local park and tune into a live workout together!

Feel brrrrilliant with open water swimming!
More and more places are opening up for anyone who is brave enough to dip their toe into the world of open water/wild swimming. The benefits go way beyond the physical, from immediate improvements to your mood straight after a swim, to the reduction of symptoms of depression and anxiety.
NB: Open water can be dangerous. If you’re thinking of heading out for a dip, make sure you do your research and take the necessary precautions. Safety first, always.

Head to the great outdoors
The Great Outdoor Gym Company created gyms which are free for anyone to use. They have over 1,500 gyms so there’s a high chance there’ll be one near you. Check out the locations on their website.

If your local park, doesn’t have an outdoor gym, here are things you can find in your local park and a few exercises you can do with them:

Benches 

  • Step ups
  • Lateral step ups
  • Squats or single leg squats
  • Hip thrusts or single leg hip thrusts
  • Elevated glute bridges (or single leg variation) 
  • Tricep dips
  • Rear foot elevated split squats
  • Elevated press ups (either hands or feet)

Bars

  • Inverted rows
  • Press ups (elevated)
  • Pull ups (or foot assisted pull ups)
  • Dips (if you have two alongside each other)
  • Hanging leg or knee raises

Aside from that, there are so many more moves you can do with just your body and a bit of energy, so don’t forget to check out the My Family Moves workouts on Gingerbread’s Instagram for some inspiration.

Ready for a challenge? We’re so excited to be offering 500 single parent families the chance to take part in Race At Your Pace in August for FREE! Sign up below for your discount code and claim your free spaces for 1 adult and up to 3 children! Any questions, email kate.relton@gingerbread.org.uk

Sign up for the My Family Moves Summer Challenge