Is running the new rock 'n' roll?

Forget boozy lunches and late nights on the dance floor, these days social exercising is the new happy hour...

Is running the new rock 'n' roll?

For many of us, our twenties were all about carefree, boozed up fun. It was a time of socialising in bars and clubs and stumbling home at 5am scoffing a kebab. In many cases, it’s only as we’ve got older (and realised that hangovers are no longer as bearable) that we began to pay more attention to our health. 

So it may come as a bit of a shock that the generation in their twenties now have a rather different attitude. More mindful about their health and careful about what they eat, millennials (generally) consider fitness to be an integral part of life.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the proportion of adults who drink is at its lowest level since they began alcohol-related studies in 2005. And of those aged 16 to 24, less than half (46 per cent) reported drinking alcohol in the previous week, compared with 64 per cent of those aged 45 to 64.

Fitness goes social

Over the last decade, as the fitness and healthy lifestyle movement gathered momentum, people began to spend more time working out and less time socialising. So it was only natural that places to work out should become more like places to socialise.

Whereas once working out was something people forced themselves to do, suffering their penance alone, nowadays fitness can be a chance to spend time with friends, whether it’s hanging out with old pals or meeting new members of your #fitfam.

Instead of meeting friends once a week for a boozy night out it’s now perfectly normal to meet for a Pilates class or a group run. Going for a drink afterwards can be a fun way to bond further but it’s no longer the main event.


The line between working out and socialising continues to blur, with some exercise classes gathering cult-like followings (CrossFit, Psycle, Barrecore etc.). A new wave of fun fitness offerings has appeared and now you can combine working out with having all kinds of crazy fun.

  • Fancy doing a fitness class in a nightclub? The Ministry of Sound has embraced exercise, opening its own fitness studio earlier this year, complete with glow sticks, a soundtrack of banging tunes, and a bar serving up proper drinks.
  • Or you could kick start your day with Morning Glory: they host pre-work alcohol-free raves, complete with energising music, coffee and smoothie bars. You can find their events across the UK and around the world.
  • There’s a huge choice of fun and sociable exercise options out there now, such as the high energy group workouts run by the London Midnight Runners: join them for a 10K evening run in London, with bootcamp style exercise stops, finishing at a bar where you can enjoy a well-earned drink with your new running buddies. 

Here at the Running Bug we’re psyched that more people than ever are making fitness an integral part of their (social) lives. We couldn’t do without our network of running buddies and fitness friends!

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