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Raise your hand if you’ve been less active over the last 18 months that you’d like?
Okay, to be fair, that’s not 100% true. I’ve done a LOT of walks. Haven’t we all? I’ve done so many walks near my house in fact that I’m pretty sure I could tell you exactly where every plant and tree is within a two mile radius. To say I’m sick of it is an understatement. And yes, I know I could have tried something else, like running, but long term readers will know that I am most definitely not a natural runner.
What I think we’ve all lacked during the pandemic, exercise wise and generally too, is VARIETY. Everyone knows that variety is the spice of life, so no wonder we’ve all got a little bored and sluggish.
I recently took on a challenge with Everyone Active, the UK’s leading provider of local leisure, gym, swim and activity facilities, to promote Everyone Active’s summer campaign, Everyone is Family.
Everyone is Family is running throughout August and is all about encouraging families to try something new, to get out and be active. What’s great about the campaign is that although of course they want to showcase the facilities they have to offer at their centres, the focus is more on just enjoying being active together, regardless of where you do it or how much it costs, even if that’s just kicking a football about in the park.
My task was to try a different activity every single day for a whole week. This included tennis, yoga, cycling and even some garden based online classes. I shared photos and videos everyday on Instagram, so if you want to catch up in detail head to my profile and watch the ‘Get Sporty’ highlight saved just above the grid.
Belle and I have both been members of Everyone Active in the past, and pre-lockdown I’d quite gotten into the classes, particularly yoga. I’d starting making an effort to try new things too, including a 90s dance class at the centre in Wellington where we had actual glowsticks. And then the pandemic hit and there I was, lying in the garden reading Poirot.
We’re really lucky in that we have loads of Everyone Active centres in and around Taunton, including an outdoor high ropes and mini golf centre just a few minutes walk from me in Vivary Park. For this challenge though I focussed on the centre at Blackbrook, which has a gym, classes and tennis centre as well as a fairly new pool and spa complex. Everything you need basically for bringing variety back into family activities.
One of the best bits of the Everyone is Family challenge week for me was the excuse to hang out with Joey, who loves nothing more than running up and down or around in circles. We played football, we looked at pigeons, we did soft play, and this weekend we’re going for a slightly belated swim too. I’ve not been to the pool at Blackbrook yet and so I’m excited to try it, especially as we’ve booked in for a family session in the smaller, learner pool.
Doing things like swimming has been tough during the pandemic so I think Blackbrook’s learner pool is going to be an ideal way to reintroduce Joey to the water – keep an eye on Instagram stories on Sunday to see how we get on.
Why should I sign up to Everyone is Family?
A very good question and aside from motivation and inspiration, the answer is simple – FREE STUFF.
It doesn’t cost you anything to register for Everyone is Family, but in return you can download any or all of their four week long, themed activity plans. Each plan is designed to come at exercise from a different angle, whether that’s adventurous activities or something more relaxing, and of course you can mix and match and pick out the activities that most inspire you and your family.
What I definitely took away from our challenge though was that it’s good to push yourself a little bit outside of your comfort zone. I would never normally think to hire a tennis court for example, and turning up to find the courts full of people playing proper matches was daunting given my complete lack of skill, but we had a brilliant time. We laughed a lot, and spent a lot of time running to the back of the court for missed balls – by the end of the session we were both exhausted but pleased with ourselves for having given it a go.
Once you’re signed up to Everyone is Family you’ll also get free access to recipes from celebrity chef Jonny Marsh.
I had a go at one of these too as part of my challenge week – pasta and kefir lime pesto. I have made my own pesto before, but only regular pesto, nothing fancy. The kefir lime recipe was really yummy, with a lovely fresh flavour from the lime and the mint.
Win awesome prizes with Everyone is Family
As well as all the fab freebies, signing up to Everyone is Family gives you the chance to wine some VERY cool prizes. At the end of August lucky winners will be chosen to receive:
- 3 x six-month family memberships, worth up to £600
- 10 x Everyone on Demand six-month membership
- 4 x £25 voucher for the Everyone is Active online shop
Everyone on Demand is another offering from Everyone Active – an holistic package of online exercise classes alongside wellness and mindfulness programmes, designed to help you feel good in your whole self. Everyone on Demand works with a host of hand-picked partners, including the Trion personal training app, Les Mills fitness classes and the Mindshine mental fitness app. You can dip in and out of each product as you please, so you might do a body pump class one day and a five-minutes of meditation the next. It’s all about flexibility and creating a solution that works around you.
The highlights of my challenge week
The main highlight for me of taking part in this Everyone is Family challenge was just that satisfaction that you get when you push yourself to try something new. The tennis was a real highlight from that point of view, because it was so far outside my comfort zone! I also enjoyed how it gave me the chance to spend time with Joey and with Belle in different ways that we might normally.
I also very much enjoyed that the Blackbrook centre has its very own spa! I know that sitting about in a sauna might not really qualify as being active, but after a week of trying so many new things a girl’s gotta relax right??
I’d never been to the spa at Blackbrook before and I have to be honest and say that because it’s attached to a leisure centre I thought it might be a little less luxurious feeling than some spas. I was so wrong! It offers a full range of treatments, as well as a very modern sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. It has one of those fun showers where you can pretend you’re caught in a tropical rainstorm, and a lovely relaxation room too. It even has its own nail bar. Fancy.
Overall I was really thrilled with how my challenge week went. I was genuinely sad come Monday when I didn’t have a new activity to try that day – I’ve already booked in for another class this Friday, and am looking forward to my swim with Joey at the weekend.
If you and your family feel like you’ve been stuck in a rut these last 18 months then Everyone is Family is the ideal excuse to give yourselves a kick and start enjoying a bit more variety again.
Sign up to Everyone is Family now to get your FREE family activity plans and for the chance to win awesome prizes.