Not your average gym class

New Year fitness resolutions are so cliché — there’s no better time to start your new favourite workout than RIGHT NOW. Well, maybe finish reading the email first. Then go. If good ol’ fashioned gymming ain’t doing it for you, give these nothing-to-do-with-a-treadmill activities a go.

Wild swimming


We know what you're thinking. This would have been a good suggestion the other side of summer. Well, unless it’s particularly shallow, outdoor water tends to stay at around 12C to 17C all year round. Refreshing! Experts recommend arriving already nice and warm so you're looking forward to stripping off and plunging in. Persevere through the initial cold and in a few mins you’ll start getting the benefits of ‘cold adaptation’. This website has some local wild swimming spots, from lidos, to lakes and rivers. Pictured is Powick Bridge, a quiet river in Worcester.

Reformer Pilates


Our childhood dreams of being a pro-ballerina never came to pass. We’ve found the next best thing (read: all the dancers are doing it) Reformer Pilates. There are your run of the mill classes on the mat, and then there’s the Reformer variety, with terrifying looking benches and hardware. Classes focus on the basic concepts of Pilates: core activation, concentration, breathing and pelvic, spinal and shoulder placement. Contort yourself in previously unimaginable ways to create a stronger, leaner bod. Try out this studio in Digbeth.

Good gymming


What do you mean, the benefits of exercise aren’t enough motivation for you to get up off the sofa? What about if it’s benefitting someone else? With Good Gym, you run to a task that needs doing, like helping someone with some gardening because they’re not able to do it themselves, or visiting an isolated older person — and then run back again. Increase your motivation to keep fit by making a difference to someone else’s life.



SUP stands for standup paddleboarding, which is fairly self-explanatory. It’s an offshoot of surfing, but worry not, the boards are bigger and more buoyant than a regular surfboard. No longer the preserve of holiday resorts and far flung turquoise seas, you can SUP right here in B’ham. It’ll work your core and upper body strength as you try to stay standing up and not fall into the wash below. The lovely folks at B-Row do SUP tours around our city's canals, as well as regular sessions at Edgbaston Reservoir.



Trampolining isn’t confined to the occasional kids' party you endured in the 90s. Nope, nope, nope. It’s back, actual grown-ups are doing it and we can’t believe we’ve waited this long to get involved. No one is expecting you to become the next Beth Tweddle, but this bouncing lark is hecking good cardio. Jumping around apparently improves balance, lung capacity and muscular strength but mainly it gets top marks for smiles. Find a class.