The soul-numbing blandness of gyms led me to home workouts and a return to jogging some time ago, but the Good Gym brings their narcissistic emptiness into even greater relief. The premise is simple: exercise can be social and socially meaningful. Ditch that costly £40 gym subscription and join a local group joining hands to improve and connect people in your local area.
The Good Gym basically combines jogging with community work, ranging from planting trees to visiting the isolated and less mobile in their homes (often bringing them something like a newspaper of a piece of fruit).
At the moment the gym is only operational in East London ( in partnership with the Olympic Park Legacy Company) but their website tells us that a replicable version should be available soon to try out in other areas. This is the kind of low-tech social innovation I’ve been championing for some time, and I hope it’s something my local area association will have a stab at once more support is available to those who want to replicate it where they are.