If you are one of those people who know they should probably do more exercise but find the idea of heading to the gym tedious, then you are not alone.  Rather than beating yourself thanks to guilt from not going to the gym, we have put together a list of some of the best ways to get fit in London.  

Although there are some traditional, tried, and tested methods mentioned, we also have included many of our favorite offbeat and alternative ideas, to help motivate you to get up and out there. 

​Even better, many of these suggestions require the same sort of investment as a monthly gym membership you might not use anyway!

#1 – Running and Walking

Although it is not everyone’s cup of tea, running or walking is still one of the easiest and most affordable ways to keep fit.  You can walk or run virtually anywhere.  If you are living or working in London, there are a multitude of places to walk and run. 

Motivation, or rather the lack of it, can often be the problem when it comes to walking and running, but when you have a choice of such amazing scenic places as Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Finsbury Park, Green Park, Clapham Common and so many more, it may make it a lot easier to want to go out.  

Another way to get motivated is by using either a service like mapmyrun.org or a FitBit or similar app/device to chart your activity

​That way, you can see your progress and the hard work you have put in and start making realistic goals – that will all help motivate you to get up and out there. 

Perhaps you could consider joining a running club or roping a friend in to come along with you (London Midnight Runners is one of my favorites!)

#2 – Cycling

Similarly, to the above suggestion, cycling is a great way to get out there and burn off calories and improve your fitness levels.  Compared to running and even walking though, cycling is a very low impact form of cardiovascular exercise. 

Therefore, it is a lot kinder on your body.  Most of the parks mentioned above can be accessed by cyclists and many have special cycling paths and lanes.

Even if you don’t have a bike yourself – you can hire a bike easily with Santander cycles (AKA “Boris Bikes”!)

#3 – Dancing

Before we are only left with just the female readers – dancing is not only a fantastic way to burn up hundreds of calories but, it can be a lot of fun if you give it a chance. 

Couples looking to do more things together could enroll for a dance class together – that way you are both learning a new skill, spending time together doing something fun and keeping fit all at the same time! 

​If you don’t want to be in the next Diversity or turn into Louis Spence; you could try classic Ballroom dancing.

#4 – Watersports

​Maybe you are looking for something a little bit different – perhaps something that will really get the adrenaline pumping through your body. 

If you head to down the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre at Millwall Dock and River Thames, you will be treated to 25 acres of completely sheltered water, an excellent and safe training environment for trying out a whole host of water-based activities such as rowing log, dragon boating, canoeing, and sailing.  

#5 – Team Sports

If you’re someone who loves to be part of a team, London has nearly every type of sports team you can think of!

Football is one of the most popular sports in the whole of the UK – so you’ll easily find a range of teams at all levels and all times of the week! Whether it’s five a side, seven a side or 11 a side – you’ll easily be able to find a football game and level which suits you.

Apart from football – London has a huge range of different sports you can get involved in! Whether it’s American football, table tennis, dodgeball or anything else, giving your sport of choice a google and you’ll find a range of ways to get involved and keep healthy.

#6 – Horse Riding

Perhaps you like the idea of racing along on the back of a 1.6-meter-high steed.  Even if you have never ridden a horse before, it is never too late to give it a go. 

There are various stables in the London area that offer lessons, such as Wimbledon Village Stables, Hyde Park Stables, and Lee Valley Park to name just three. 

While the horse will be doing a lot of the leg work – you will still work up a sweat and in time it could help improve your core strength, balance, and co-ordination.  

#7 – Parkour / Free-Running

If running, cycling and dancing feel a bit too drab to you – you could consider the exhilarating discipline of Parkour (also known as Free-running). 

This is that part majestic, part lunacy activity that involves navigating around whatever environment you are in the most interesting and exciting way possible. 

​Although it is not recommended that you take this up without any support or lessons, there are classes available in the London area and with such a rich landscape of different structures, terrains, and obstacles you will find plenty of places to test out your vaulting, somersaulting and jumping skills.


It would be wrong to suggest that this list is in any way definitive, but, it does serve as a great introduction to many ways for keeping fit you may not have considered before, whilst personal trainers are a fantastic choice; there are plenty of other options. 

At the very least, it has hopefully shown that there is more to keeping fit in London than your usual gym visits!

What are your favorite ways to stay fit in London?

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