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Find your FIT in Manchester this winter!

Man preparing for an outdoor exercise session, smiling hapilly.


Find out some of the best ways to keep active & healthy this winter, without breaking the bank!

We all understand the importance of keeping fit and healthy as we move into the winter months. But how can we maximise our health whilst keeping the savings in our pockets, when money is tight? Read on to find out more!

Why is exercise so important?

Exercise is the miracle cure that we have all been waiting for! It’s free, easy to take, and available in unlimited quantities. That’s before we even mention that it doesn’t require a trip to the doctor, and can actually have an immediate impact on your health & wellbeing!

Whatever your age, the scientific evidence is there to show that exercising as often as you are able holds the key to a happier and healthier life.

Overwhelming health benefits

There are overwhelming health benefits associated with the sustained uptake of physical activity. It can greatly reduce the risk of major illnesses including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes & cancers. Whatsmore, it can even reduce your risk of early death by up to 30%.

To access these health benefits, all you need to do is be at a working speed that gets your blood pumping and heart beating a little faster whilst making you feel warmer than when you started! For more information on how you can get your recommended exercise each week, check out this handy guide put together by NHS England.

It is well known that men’s health outcomes are significantly worse than those of women. Here are some of the key statistics, as put together by The Men’s Health Forum:

Men’s Health Outcomes: Key Statistics

  • Men are twice as likely to die from alcohol-related illnesses than women.
  • Male unemployment is more prevalent than it is amongst females (5.4% in comparison to 4.8%). This equates to a difference of 174,000 people. (ONS)
  • Around 75% of suicides are amongst the male population.
  • There are around 7.6 million people living with a heart or circulatory disease in the UK: 4 million are men. One in eight of these men will die from Coronary Heart Disease, compared to one in thirteen women.

How can you stay active without breaking the bank in Manchester?

So, you know all about the why’s of exercise. But how can you ensure that you are keeping yourself fit and healthy this winter, without spending too much money? Here’s how:

Exercise outdoors

There are endless ways and numerous reasons why you should add outdoor exercise to your to-do list this winter!

Man preparing for an outdoor exercise session, smiling hapilly.

  1. It’s free! Whether you go for a jog, take your bike for a spin, or go for a leisurely stroll, you don’t have to pay a penny!
  2. Manchester has some of the region’s most picturesque outdoor spaces! Wherever you are across our city, you will find the space and time to step into nature, breathe in the fresh air, and keep fit whilst you do it! See here for a list of some of our region’s stunning outdoor spaces.
  3. The health benefits are amazing! Not only will your physical fitness improve, but so will your mental wellbeing. Outdoor activity is proven to reduce stress, improve your mood, and can lead to better food & sleep patterns! What’s not to love?

Visit MCR Active

MCRactive is a not-for-profit organisation established and overseen by Manchester City Council, here to inspire and encourage people to lead a more active lifestyle. Their role in the city is to work with the whole sport and physical activity sector to promote and open up access to sports and leisure places across Manchester.​

Men outdoors in a community, exercising.

MCR Active runs leisure centers across Manchester, all the way from Ardwick to Woodhouse Park- so wherever you live, you will be able to find activities to keep you busy, active, and most importantly, healthy. You can use their activity finder to find fun, affordable leisure opportunities in your area.

What activities are free?

The list of free exercise opportunities is enormous! From football to sailing and indoor bowling to windsurfing, the city really is yours to explore. Find a new hobby, meet new people & keep healthy this winter through your local MCR Active centre! Check out the full list of free activities here!

Explore the countryside

Manchester is surrounded by and full of hidden treasures. The Trans Pennine trail is a fantastic route available to anyone, linking the North and Irish seas, passing through the Pennines, alongside rivers and canals, and through some of the most historic towns and cities in the North of England.

If you’re short on time or would prefer to stay local, the trail takes in some of the more stunning parts of the Mancunian landscape, from Chorlton Water Park to Fletcher Moss, via winding River Mersey paths through sleepy villages such as Northenden & Didsbury.

Whether you’re walking, jogging, cycling, or even out horseriding, these trails will provide you with many unique views across the city’s landscape, introduce you to unseen nature and help you to unlock all of those health benefits mentioned earlier in this piece.

Manchester really is a wonderful city, full of surprises. As part of our Manchester Men Speak Up community, we want to showcase its amazing opportunities and support its residents in any way that we can.

Do you like what you’ve read here, or think that you’d like to contribute a blog/interview piece for our community of Manchester Men? If so, just drop us a line in the comments, or contact us at

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