Family fitness activities to combat cost of living: Report

According to ONS data, 91% of adults in Great Britain have reported an increase in their cost of living in 2022, and Citizens Advice reports that three million families are facing a “crisis” due to the rising prices, with sacrifices being made to meet basic needs such as food shopping and heating homes.

Our new report has now revealed the impact the cost of living is having on our physical health and activity levels, along with the knock-on effect to our mental health. We surveyed over 500 families and revealed that a third (33%) will be spending less on family and children’s activities this year compared to last year, and as a result, 66% are actively looking or planning to find free and cheap activities to help keep their families stay active and fit, while saving money.

Majority of families say reduced sport activities negatively impacts mental health, social life and more

The research underlined the impact that physical activity has on the mental health and social life of families across the country, and also the worrying state of local community and sports clubs that they rely upon for this support. 64% said they believe local community sports and leisure centers need more support from the government as they play such a crucial role in the lives of families across the country.

With 39% of families saying they know a local sports club that are reducing their opening times, and 33% saying they know a local sports club closing this winter, it is clear many are concerned about the future of their communities and the sporting activities they can get involved in to stay active and healthy - both physically and mentally.

While 25% said they were cutting back on gym, sports club or leisure center memberships, other cutbacks were also being made due to the cost of living. 41% said they were reducing takeaway meals, 35% will be skipping festive meals out, and 31% would be avoiding New Year’s shopping sprees.

Free and Cheap Better Family Activities This Winter

To help combat the rising costs for families every Better swimming pool is offering ‘Kids for a Quid’ sessions, allowing children one hour swimming sessions for just £1. These are dedicated sessions at specific times, so contact your closest pool for more details.

Remaining mentally and physically engaged is crucial for kids, and the libraries offer free books, free use of computers, free wifi and a range of family activities from craft sessions to film nights that can be booked from location to location.

Below we’ve collated a list of activities ranging from £0-£10 for kids across the available Better leisure centres and libraries. 

  • Free library activities
    Our libraries don’t just offer books to borrow or computers to use, drop in for free family craft sessions, story telling or mother & toddler rhyme times.
  • Junior gym
    Join a dedicated session where young gym-goers can access the gym with a member of staff present to guide you through how to work the equipment.
  • Swimming
    A valuable skill and hugely beneficial to mental and physical health - take to one of our many pools across the UK.
  • Aqua Splash (inflatable assault course in the pool)
    An exciting, inflatable obstacle course is laid out in the swimming pool for kids to take on with challenges, races and general fun!
  • Trampolining
    Burn some energy and bounce through the winter chill at a Better Trampoline and Play Park.
  • Ice skating
    Challenge your balance and coordination while keeping fit on the ice at our range of ice skating sessions.
  • Soft play
    Our soft play areas provide a space for kids to explore multi-layered climbing frames, colourful ball pits and elaborate mazes.
  • Indoor climbing/clip n climb
    Fun, exciting and guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping, you'll find a range of sessions and courses for all abilities at Better.
  • Tennis
    All of our tennis classes follow the latest Lawn Tennis Association guidelines and are delivered by licensed, registered LTA coaches in a fun environment for kids.
  • Table tennis
    A number of our centres also offer table tennis sessions, a great way to stay occupied and test the reflexes and hand-eye coordination.

You can find out more about what’s on offer for your family at your local centres here, by entering your postcode to see what’s on near you.

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