Most of us will admit that getting healthy and fit is probably our most recurring – and most difficult to achieve – New Year’s resolution. Whether we’ve put on a bit of weight over Christmas or have been unhappy with our waistline for a while, it’s hard to escape the reminders that we need to do something about it. The TV ad breaks are plagued with adverts for celebrity fitness DVDs, and the magazines are keen to share the latest faddy diets. Finding the motivation to go to the gym alone can actually be quite arduous, so perhaps using Be Inspired to find a new hobby or team sport is the answer.

Working out should be fun, and let’s face it, sweating away on a treadmill with BBC News 24 playing on four separate screens for entertainment isn’t actually that enjoyable. This is where Be Inspired comes in – a service which helps you find different sporting activities near you. You simply choose one of the activities from the drop down list and enter your postcode and distance you’re willing to travel. You’ll of course see the more conventional options like zumba, football and yoga, but you might also be surprised to find some quirkier ones such as parkour, synchronized swimming and beach volleyball in your area.

Choosing a team sport over going to the gym has a number of different benefits. For starters, the level of social interaction in a team sport is obviously much higher than on a rowing machine. A study by the Sport and Recreation Alliance showed that 81 percent of sports club members say they have made friends through exercising compared to only 14 percent of fitness centre users. Being part of a team also acts as a great source of motivation. Receiving praise from your teammates can be the self-esteem boost you need, and makes your fitness journey less about counting the calories burnt and more about the number of goals you’ve scored. In addition, research conducted by the University of Glasgow has found that exercising in natural environments reduces the risk of poor mental health to a greater extent than exercising indoors.


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