Ever fancied trying out yoga or a fitness class – for free? Now’s your chance with Healthy City Week! During the week, which takes place 15-22 October, independent therapists and instructors, gyms, community organisations, Bristol City Council and many others are offering free or discounted taster sessions for dozens of different activities.
To kick the week off on 15 October, the community launch event at Wellspring Healthy Living Centre and Barton Hill Settlement will offer free workshops in everything from pottery and creative writing to yoga and gentle exercise. There will be free advice on a range of topics, including heating your home, healthy eating and cooking, and reducing how much sugar you eat.
For keep fit activities, look no further than the many local gyms that are getting involved in the week. City-centre MYGYM on Dean Street is offering free drop-in taster sessions. You can join the Greenway Centre Gym on Doncaster Road in Southmead for free during October. And Everyone Active sports and leisure centres across Bristol are offering a free day pass for any selected activity, including gym, swimming, group exercise session or under 5’s activities. Move GB, which offer a single membership to independent classes across the city, are offering a trial for £1, where you can attend as many workshops and fitness sessions as you like in two weeks. Visit the Healthy City Week offers page to find out more.
Bristol City Council’s Public Health team are offering free healthy activity days, highlighting the free services that you can use all year round, not just during Healthy City Week. On Wednesday 19 October from 11am-3pm they will be at the Hub in Lockleaze for a family-friendly activity day, with free health checks and gym referrals for those who aren’t already active. The team will be at Easton Community Centre from 2-8pm on Thursday 20 October, giving tips on local healthy activities and offering free sessions for activities like pilates and circuits. On Saturday 22 October you can visit Southmead Community Centre from 10am, for a stress-busting day of workshops, as well as advice on stopping smoking, managing debt and much more.
Be in with a chance to win a Fitbit by taking part in the health quiz at www.bristol.gov.uk/livewell to celebrate the launch of LiveWell Bristol during the week. This is a new service from the Public Health team to help adults in Bristol have healthier lifestyles, available through GP referral.
There are plenty of complementary therapies on offer in community venues across the city, including chair yoga for a gentle introduction to the practice. Or you can immerse yourself in a therapeutic sound bath to melt stresses away courtesy of the Bards of Avalon. Feel the benefit of laughter – the best medicine after all – with Joe Hoare’s laughter wellness sessions. Mindfulness and relaxation sessions, yoga and dance classes are all on offer.
If you’re interested in having a healthier, more environmentally-friendly diet, try one of the free community feasts happening during the week. There’s a community meal with FoodCycle Bristol at 2.30pm on Saturday 15 October at Barton Hill Settlement. This is a three course vegetarian meal made from surplus food collected by bike from local shops. FoodCycle will also be running a free family cooking day on Sunday 16 October at the Phoenix Café from 11am-4pm, using surplus food from supermarkets and grocers. Or on Thursday 20 October at 5pm there’s the Lockleaze Banquet at the Buzz Lockleaze Café. The café will provide lots of organic food, and residents are also welcome to bring along a dish to share with neighbours.
There’s lots of advice on vegan diets, with free one to ones with Viva!Health’s nutrition experts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Or there’s a free talk on vegan nutrition at lunch time on Monday 17 October at the Healthy City Week Hub at Triodos Bank.
Becky Pollard, Bristol City Council’s Director of Public Health, said:
“Health isn’t something that just happens to us. To get and stay healthy, we have to make conscious decisions and adopt healthy behaviours. It’s fantastic that Bristol citizens have the chance to try out so many activities that will promote our health and wellbeing during Healthy City Week. But don’t forget that the Public Health team offer lots of free services to get people active all year round. It’s our job to support you to improve your health and wellbeing, and we can support you to make healthy choices, whatever your circumstances.”
Trevor Thompson, GP, researcher at University of Bristol and co-chair of the Healthy City Week steering group, said:
“If you’re savvy, you could treat Healthy City Week like a free spa break! There are different relaxation or wellbeing activities on offer for free every day, and lots more are being offered at a discount. It’s good to see so many committed, passionate practitioners offering their substantial expertise for free, for everyone to benefit from.”
Jac Blacker, Manager at Avonmouth Community Centre, said:
“It’s wonderful that Healthy City Week is reaching across the city. We are excited to offer our residents so many great opportunities through our venue. We’re especially excited by the Closing the Gap screening on Saturday 15th and the lunchtime pottery session on Tuesday 18th. We urge everyone living nearby to come and try out one of the activities on offer!”