As an accompaniment to the magazine feature on Green Gyms, here is a video that was produced by “NHS (National Health Service) Choices”:
First female volunteer (Standard English/Midlands accent)
Well, it does keep you fit, except that every time we go home we’re all aching!
Second female volunteer (Standard English/Midlands accent)
I’m fitter now than when I retired and that was a long time ago: I’m certainly fitter now.
First male volunteer (Standard English/Midlands accent)
And you see new people, you meet a lot of friends, so you can’t beat it, really, it’s absolutely marvelous.
Yvonne (Standard English/Midlands accent)
The Green Gym was set up by BTCV, which is a UK environmental volunteering charity, and basically people can come out and instead of going to a gym, they can get fit and healthy by planting trees, or managing woodlands, and basically improving their environment.
Second female volunteer
Why do I do it? Well, I just enjoy being outside and, you know, meeting people, different people, and “You need any help there?” Doing… tidying everything up!
First male volunteer
The good thing about it is that you do as much as you want…
Second male volunteer: (Standard English/Midlands accent)
Yeah, at the pace that you want.
First male volunteer
And one of my main reasons for doing it is… is the aerobic exercise. I mean, you get people who… spend a lot of money on a gym subscription and then they don’t go half the time, so they waste the money, but if… Green Gym, you get the aerobic exercise and it’s free, and you keep coming… not because you spent money on it, but because you enjoy it, basically.
Second male volunteer:
A lot of people don’t like gyms, they don’t want to put on Lycra, this is a way that they can just come out in their old comfy clothes and get… get more active. It’s also got a lot of mental health benefits, so people coming outside and being in nature just helps them get a sense of perspective, helps to relieve stress.
Second male volunteer
If, you know, if you’re stuck at home and… on your own, you can come out and you meet people and you get an… enormous… boost in your confidence.
Third female volunteer (Standard British accent)
The social activity is nice, just coming and chatting and working with other people ‘cause I think if… if you’re sort of on benefits and living alone, then it can be very, very isolating, so actually getting out and meeting other people… is good!
Second (or third?) male volunteer
Yeah, and there’s the cake!
You going to have a cup of tea?
Yeah, I’d love a cup of tea, please.
People join because they want to get fitter and they want to get healthier, but what keeps people coming back is the fact that they make friends and there’s all the social side of it and… and they get a really good group of friends out of it.
If people want to join a Green Gym, BTCV have got over 95 Green Gyms across the UK. The easiest thing to do is, if they visit our website, then they can find out what… what Green Gym’s closest to them. We’d like to see a Green Gym group in every community, so it’s… it’s got so much more to… to do, really, in terms of getting people more active.