10 fun ways to get active in Leeds


Getting active shouldn’t feel like a chore. If you find yourself dreading your workout or lacking motivation, it might be time to inject some fun back into fitness.

At Get Set Leeds, we believe that you will get the most out of physical activities that you enjoy. You will be less likely to quit and more enthusiastic.

There are lots of activities to try out that will shake up your routine, and plenty of year-round options as we head into autumn.

Check out our list of 10 fun ways to get active in Leeds:


1- Play racket sports

Looking for a fast-paced and sociable sport you can play all year round? A good game of badminton is high-intensity exercise that improves your stamina and reflexes as you dart around the court. Not to mention, it is fun to play at every skill level and can kickstart lots of friendly competition.

Or try squash, which is great to play both on your own and with friends. It is fantastic for overall fitness and will keep you busy as you bend, stretch and sprint around the court.

Book a court at one of our Active Leeds locations today.


2- Go to a fun fitness class

If you enjoy being spurred on and working out in a group environment, there are plenty of entertaining exercise classes in Leeds to keep you moving whatever the weather.

Clubbercise is a fantastic way to burn some energy and have a good time. You’ll be bringing a night out to your workout as you follow dance fitness routines and work up a sweat to your favourite party anthems. The classes are taught in a darkened room with disco lights and glow sticks so you can really let loose!

Zumba is another high energy workout, this time with a mixture of dance styles to keep you excited about exercise. There are Zumba classes to suit everyone, including Zumba Gold at a slightly slower pace and Zumba Step, which incorporates step aerobics.

Book your class today!


3- Give climbing a go

For those looking for something a little more hair-raising, climbing is an excellent way to challenge yourself and give your body a complete workout. Indoor climbing walls are a fantastic way for beginners to safely learn the ropes whilst building up strength and co-ordination. It is also a great activity for the mind as it develops serious concentration and problem-solving skills!

Get your feet off the ground at the Active Leeds indoor climbing wall at Aireborough Leisure Centre.


4- Go swimming


Swimming is an activity suitable for everyone, and it’s never too late to learn! The water provides gentle resistance and supports a full body workout. It can be enjoyed throughout the year as family fun or as a solo activity to exercise and de-stress. Either way, you are sure to burn calories and emerge feeling revitalised.

Keep it interesting by using intervals to break up your swim or by trying out new techniques and strokes.

Find your local pool here.


5- Discover diving

Comfortable in the water and looking for an exciting challenge? Feeling inspired by the Olympics? With the support of an instructor, those looking for a bit more excitement in the pool could try out diving. Whilst getting active and improving flexibility, you are bound to have fun perfecting your technique and advancing up the boards!

Active Leeds offers learn to dive lesson programmes at a number of centres across Leeds.


6- Get out on the water

For those drawn to the fresh air and outdoors, getting out on the water might be for you. The Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre is located in Yeadon and offers sailing, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, rafting and much more. For newbies, instructors are on hand and adult classes are available to help you learn new skills and overhaul your exercise routine!


7- Have fun at home

For a workout a little closer to home, try to think back to the fun activities you did around the house as a child. Then consider restarting! They are often fantastic ways to liven up your workout.

Skipping is a favourite of schoolkids and boxers alike as it is both fun and effective. Your workout can also easily be upgraded by using a weighted rope or learning new rope tricks!

And have you ever seen anyone looking bored whist hula hooping? As well as a bit of fun, hula hooping is a workout that can be done practically anywhere. Whether you gather your kids or partner to play along or have a go on your own, you’ll be getting active without all the seriousness!


8- Get out in the park

mum and child run around a park in leeds

Or take your playfulness further afield and discover the fun you can have in your local parks.

We believe you should never think you have grown out of your favourite childhood activities, so roller-skates and skateboards are still firmly on the table. Whether you do it just for fun or as a way of getting around, it is an exhilarating alternative to walking!

Alternatively, if you’re more of a gamer, there is no reason why you can’t incorporate gaming into your workout and enjoy it in your local park.  Pokémon Go has proved itself as a way of taking the joy of gaming outdoors.

At Get Set Leeds, we spoke to Tania, who has taken up Pokémon Go as a way of getting outside and being active with her friends:

“I just feel better, I have more energy. My legs don’t hurt like they used to when I walked longer distances. I find I get loads of steps in every time I play, I walk all over the place! I even play when I’m on the way to appointments or to work.”


Find Tania’s story here.

Other apps to try include Zombies, Run!, which upgrades your walk or run into a zombie apocalypse adventure, and Love Exploring, which offers lots of interesting walking trails to discover.

Get out there and get playful! Explore the parks across Leeds here.


9- Get fit and do good

If you’re looking for something to occupy your spare time, have you considered combining getting active with volunteering? By getting out and volunteering in your community, you are doing good for both yourself and others. Whether the project is directly linked to fitness or not, you will find your step count climbing regardless. What’s more, it is much easier to stick to something so engaging and rewarding.

Sports clubs often call out for volunteers, so whether you are interested in coaching, supporting events or fundraising, you’ll be getting active, gaining new skills and giving back to your local community.

Check out some local volunteering opportunities.


10- Try geocaching

Finally, geocaching is well worth a mention as it is an interesting and unique form of exercise, or should we say adventure! Geocaching involves searching for hidden containers, or ‘caches’, similar to a global treasure hunt. Not only does it get you active in the outdoors, it also sharpens your navigation skills and can be a great addition to your social life.

Get Set Leeds spoke to Hannah, who told us her story of getting active through geocaching:

“I had always hated walking. Why would I want to take longer to get from A to B than I needed to, and to be fair, it was just plain boring.”


“Me and my wife have now found our 400th cache and we have done walks up to 11 miles with very little problem. The pain in my hips has gone when I walk and I can now climb hills.”


“Geocaching means you are all engaged with an activity that also gives you a good rest.”


Read Hannah’s full story.

Have any of these ideas caught your eye? If not, head over to our Get Active page for more ways to get moving in Leeds.

Or visit the Active Leeds website to find out what is on offer near you. With the Super September open days and free sessions running throughout this month, there is no better time to start!

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