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Don’t let the end of summer put your fitness programme on hold. Gyms in Birmingham offer plenty of opportunities for fitness at some very good prices.

The start of September means that it is back to school time. Families pack up the holiday clothes, children put on new school uniforms and head nervously towards new classes, or in many cases completely new schools. Meanwhile mums and dads will have more time between school runs, so it is a great time to look at new options for fitness.

The ‘Be Active’ programme covers many of the gyms in Birmingham. It was originally launched as ‘gyms for free’ and that is still the case; it provides free access to gyms and pools for everyone who pays their council tax to Birmingham City Council. With local authority funding cutbacks in force, the scope of the scheme has reduced and so the free access times are shorter. However for those who are free in off-peak hours, which will include many non-working parents, it provides an ideal opportunity for a swim or a workout at low or no cost. For the swimming, there are sixteen pools throughout the city operating the scheme so everyone should have one near to them.

A clever addition to the scheme, and something ideal for those wanting to make the most of the remaining good weather, is a selection of two and five kilometre walking routes through the city’s parks. Route maps can be downloaded and the routes can be used as preparation for fun runs, for solo strolls or for walking groups. The shorter routes are accessible for wheelchairs or parents with pushchairs, so while the older kids are at school the toddlers can toddle, and then have a rest when they get tired.

Another initiative is the provision of cricket and rounders equipment for use in the parks.  Bags of the kit are held at offices near parks, and can be borrowed on production of a leisure card for hourly slots. So don’t leave the team games to the kids – get some friends together and go back to your schooldays while the good weather lasts!

The Be Active scheme for gyms in Birmingham is one of the best used in the country, with a membership of roughly one-third of the population of the city. It is one of the most effective and proven ways of spending public funds to improve fitness, so if you live in Birmingham, get your leisure card now!

Looking for gyms in Birmingham? For locations, facilities, user reviews and great deals on pay-as-you-go passes, visit