Innovative Indoor Gym Looks and Smells Like the Outdoors

A pop-up gym coming to London will have real plants and natural equipment like logs and rope.


All the cookies have to be worked off. Same with the bourbon balls and the dense holiday cake. I know all of this, but heading to the local fitness club and going nowhere fast on squeaky exercise equipment doesn't sound appealing.

Lucky Londoners are getting a sweet alternative. A new pop-up gym coming to the city on January 9 ditches the traditional grind by bringing real plants and natural elements indoors. Hosted by the organic gym BioFit, the temporary workout space will dispense big doses of "vitamin N." That's N for nature.

The experience will include indigenous air-purifying plants and aromatherapy, according to BioFit. Landscape architect Lily Jencks, known for creating sustainable gardens in the United Kingdom, is collaborating on the facility's interior. Equipment handmade from materials such as cotton, rope and timber will replace the typical plastic and metal machinery.

"Human evolutionary history shows we've been lifting, carrying, jumping, striking and crawling for millions of years, working at varying speeds and intensities according to circumstance," BioFit founder Matt Aspiotis Morley said in a press release. "So we start there." Morley, a fitness instructor with a background in brand strategy, started BioFit in 2015 in part to "help clients move as nature intended."

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BioFit's biophilic pop-up workout studio, which will be open through February 3 in Notting Hill, also coincides with a dedicated research project. BioFit commissioned the nonprofit Ukactive Research Institute to find out what effects this novel gym concept has on factors like mental performance, attention span and anxiety level, according to the company.

I kind of doubt it matters much whether you're using a piece of timber or a resistance machine as far as exercise goes, but I'm also not a medical researcher. The point, to me, is to be active using whatever resources you can muster.

Doing push-ups on actual grass could be more pleasant than attempting them on a stinky floor mat, though. Gotta combat all that delicious holiday excess somehow.

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