11 alternative ways to get fit in Gloucestershire

From core tightening climbing to muscle sculpting pole dancing, discover SoGlos’s selection of the best alternative ways to get fit in Gloucestershire that beat just going for a run.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Find the fun in fitness with SoGlos’s hot list of unique activities to inspire you to try something new.

From energetic Zumba classes to creative circus skills, discover some of the most fun and unusual ways to get active in Gloucestershire – and we promise running isn’t one of them!

So, grab your sweat bands and get ready to feel the burn, as SoGlos rounds up 11 of the best alternative ways to get fit.

Reach new heights at Warehouse Climbing Centre in Gloucester

A great way to develop both your mind and body, climbing is a fantastic option to get active, no matter your age or ability. The all-inclusive sport works a variety of muscle groups, from your back, abdominal muscles and legs as well as your fingers, shoulders and arms.

Regular climbing can improve your overall stamina and has been known to improve mental concentration as well as coordination, with Warehouse Climbing Centre providing the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Try pole dancing

From speeding up your metabolism to increasing strength and flexibility, pole dancing is a terrific way to get a full body work out whilst channelling your inner Moulin Rouge!

Helping to improve heart health, balance and self-confidence, it’s so much more than bedazzled outfits and sky-high heels – and with venues in Cheltenham and Gloucester run by friendly and inspiring instructors, Momentum Pole & Aerial is a great place to start.

Find your rhythm with Zumba

What better way to get active then to go dancing? A combination of cardio and Latin-inspired dance, Zumba is entertaining and enjoyable way to get up and at it.

A mixture of high and low intensity exercises, the interval workout is great for reducing stress levels, building endurance and improving blood pressure. Plus, everyone can take part, with regular classes at leisure centres across the county.

Embrace creative circus skills

Offering a blend of yoga, acrobatics and gymnastics, circus skills are growing in popularity as a result of their health benefits and creative exercises.

Improving strength, coordination and flexibility, participants can expect an exciting and toning workout session on everything from the trapeze and aerial hoop to acrobatics. Try Cotswolds School of Larks for a fun introduction.

Test your balance with stand-up paddleboarding

Offering a more tranquil and peaceful approach to exercise, stand up paddle boarding is a fantastic way to experience a soothing full body workout on the water.

Known for being a low-impact workout, paddle boarding is a great way to increase strength whilst protecting ligaments and tendons, as well as gently helping recovery from injuries. The sport can also help with balance, weight loss and boosting cardiovascular health – and with a wealth of watercourses, Gloucestershire is a great place to get involved.

Give geocaching a go

Get out in the great outdoors to hunt for ‘caches’ across Gloucestershire. This advanced form of treasure hunting calls on your orienteering skills – using GPS coordinates to help you find a series of 'caches'.

Fans reckon striding out on the search is a great way of exercising while closely focusing on something other than exercise. It keeps you mindful and in the moment, with the sense of reward from successfully hunting down your cache lifting spirits too.

Let the good times roll on roller skates

Lace up some roller skates for some good old nostalgic fun on the move. Not only will you get to places quicker, but it’ll put a smile on your face too.

With Cheltenham’s Honeybourne Line and the Forest of Dean’s old Severn and Wye railway line providing a suitably smooth route to whizz along. And if you really get into it, you could join a local roller derby league to add an extra challenge, too.

Tackle underwater rugby

Dive deep to move a weighted ball from one end of the pool to the other to beat your opponents in this unusual six-a-side contact sport. Wearing masks, snorkels and fins, players hold their breath to defend their goal and tackle opponents.

Gloucestershire Barracudas welcomes new faces each Wednesday at 7pm at Leisure at Cheltenham – and the first session is free, to see how you get on. Gloucestershire is a hot spot for the sport, with the British Underwater Rugby Association HQ being based in Gloucester, too.

Grab your glowsticks for clubbercise

Embrace your disco diva and hit the dancefloor for a fun cardio workout with friends, with clubbercise letting dance fans of all ages loose in a darkened room with disco lights and glow sticks at the ready. 

Combining a range of dance and combat moves, instructors reckon you can burn off 500 calories in an hour. With dozens of classes across Gloucestershire to choose from, you can fit in a clubbercise session whenever it suits.

Get in the saddle for horse riding

Gloucestershire is known for its unbridled equestrian passion and with plenty of stables dotted around the county, you’ll easily be able to find a friendly community to join.

The British Horse Society says trotting can burn up to 600 calories per ride and is great for strengthening core, thigh and pelvic muscles. It also claims horse riding boosts self-confidence and reduces stress and anxiety too.

Join a gardening club

The benefits of gardening proved beneficial to so many during the pandemic, with plenty of people realising how good it can be for mental and physical health. Backed by science, the RHS says the number of calories burnt from 30 minutes of gardening is comparable to playing badminton, volleyball or practising yoga.

If you’re unsure of where to start, a gardening club offers advice on growing as well as a sense of community and a chance to make new friends, with plenty of groups across Gloucestershire ready to welcome new members.

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