Every January brings New Year's resolutions and getting fit often features high up on the list. Joining a gym can be the go-to option, but there are a multitude of alternatives to break a sweat whilst avoiding the fees, contracts and New Year crowds. Barcelona offers a huge variety of creative ways to stay healthy for little to no money at all, so let the city become your personal gym.
Barcelona boasts a number of running routes to suit all levels. Offering a guide to the best routes in the city, ‘Barcelona Corre’ is a free app in which 23 runs are categorised by district, level and theme. If running in a group is more your cup of tea, check out Barcelona Casual Runners on community network website, Meetup. Formed in 2009, the group includes three weekly runs as well as the possibility to initiate events yourself if a certain pace or route takes your fancy. Providing the motivation of running with others, all levels are welcome, with runs adaptable to suit beginners through to more experienced athletes.
Budget-friendly and perfect for anyone short on time, YouTube has a vast array of videos offering instruction on everything from yoga to pilates to cardio workouts. The best part? These can all be done from the comfort of your own home. A simple search for the type of exercise you're interested in yields a huge number of results, the majority of which require minimal equipment and often minimal floor space too. Yoga fanatics can check out Yoga With Adriene; if you're into pilates, give the Blogilates videos a watch, whilst power duo Daniel & Kelli's channel Fitness Blender features workout videos ranging from 10-minute spot toning to full length HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions.
There are many fitness classes on offer in the city, whether you're after a chilled-out yoga session or a high-intensity cardio workout. A variety of sessions held both indoors and outside, in a number of languages, can be found on Meetup—such as yoga on the beach and pilates in the park. Beach Fit is an outdoor fitness organisation that aims to make workouts fun, accessible and effective. Classes are held in the open air, by the beach, and the signature Beach Fit classes offer a full body workout combining cardio and toning exercises. Discounts are available throughout January and the first class is free.
In today's technology-obsessed world, there are apps aplenty dedicated to health, fitness and well-being. Armed with a smartphone, you can have a digital personal trainer in the palm of your hand. Here are a few of our favourites:
Runkeeper: This user-friendly app is aimed at keeping you on track with your running progress. Choose a training plan to follow, or simply track your runs by logging details such as distance, time and calories burned.
Workout Trainer: After completing a quick questionnaire to establish your current ability and goals, a database of over 100 workouts awaits. An audiovisual guide accompanies each exercise, and 'pro' membership unlocks access to targeted workout programmes.
Strava: Providing motivation and a sense of community, this handy app allows you to compare workout data with fellow athletes of all levels. There's also a useful city guide, ensuring that you can find a route to suit you, on foot or bicycle, no matter where you are.