I’m not a big fan of the gym, never have been, so here are some alternative and quirky ideas around London for shedding your winter blubber:
Make like Dermot and dance your way through the early hours of the morning. This glorious idea is the perfect way to start your day in my opinion – a crazy and silly group of people raving before work.
Yoga with Fitness on Fire
I cannot recommend these hot yoga classes enough. They are excellent value, and the Big Ben studio is so convenient to get to from Putney. It’s just a 20 minute train ride to Waterloo and then a 5 minute walk along the river. Best of all the studio is based in the Marriott County Hall Hotel, and you can use their spa for £10 afterwards… oh and the fancy schmanzy toilets for free.
I’ve never been to a centre near London but I did try wakeboarding up in Cumbria and it was a lot of fun. If you already snowboard, skate or surf you will probably pick it up quite easily. This place in Thorpe looks semi-decent, and they have boats which I’m told is better than cable runs. They also offer water skiing and stand up paddleboarding, another great activity in its own right:
The Electric Run
Another rave style idea. Dress yourself up with luminous paint and glow sticks and jog your way around a specially built course in Wembley Park. The course has themed areas including “under the sea’ and “electro rainforest” and finishes with a light and sound show with DJs. Only 5k, so no excuses. 2nd May 2015.
There are a number very good indoor climbing walls around London. It’s a sport that’s really growing in popularity and it’s easy to see why. For a start it’s easy on your joints compared to a lot of other types of exercise, but also it works all kinds of hidden and long forgot about muscles, and can even result in a rather nice six pack if you train enough. Plus it’s a great adrenalin kick and a good way to practise overcoming fear. Oh and if you can climb competently indoors it opens up a whole world of outdoor climbing and mountaineering, and as someone who loves these activities more than anything, I can’t recommend it enough.
Near to Putney we have:
Urban Ascent http://www.urbanascent.co.uk/
Small and friendly, this is a very laid back bouldering wall in Parsons Green. Only a 10 minute cycle ride from Putney or take the 21 bus. Just £6.50 a session if you are a BMC member and you buy a block of 10.
One of the best walls for roped climbing, with a big overhanging wall for leading. It’s part of a gym, so expect lots of shirtless men showing off on the bars and sit-up bench (hey I’m not complaining!). It’s £10 a pop once you are a member. They change the routes round quite frequently and host high profile comps regularly. Catch the 220 bus to Hammersmith and then the Hammersmith and Circle line to Latimer Road.
Not my favourite, but very conveniently located near to the tube. Very abrasive holds, probably because it is a new wall. £10 just to boulder seems a little steep to me as well (see what I did there). Run by the same people who run the wall in Kendal, which is one of the best in the country.
The Castle https://www.castle-climbing.co.uk/
A justifiably popular wall, literally built inside a castle. They have just opened a new section in the basement for leading and top roping, and the bouldering is very good too. £12 a go once you are a member. Total nightmare to get to in rush hour and very crowded in the evenings, so more of a weekend venue if you live in the south-west.