How to get fit in London: the alternative guide

The Thames Cycle PathNew Year, New You. Time to get fit and try to lose the ‘winter coat’ acquired over the season of excess. However, if the thought of a treadmill makes you give up before you’ve even started, there are plenty more options available to Londoners that the dreaded GYM… Here are Woolwich Central’s top 5:

Horse Riding:

There are a number of stables in London and it’s never too late to learn. Wimbledon Village Stables, the oldest stables in Britain, welcomes riders of all levels. They run a range of short courses for complete beginners including a one day course. It’s not cheap at £175 but a private instructor will take you through the basics and leave you raring to go.

Woolwich cycle path:

A great way to enjoy the crisp winter weather – just remember gloves and a positive mental attitude – cycling around the capital is an effortless way to exercise right from your doorstep. If you’re not lucky enough to have your own two-wheeled transportation system, then Greenwich cycle hire will be more than happy to help you out, and even have some great suggestions and tips on their website to inspire you further! With Greenwich cycle path just a stones-throw away, there really is no excuse not to give it a go!

Rollerblading:

Not just the reserve of bikini clad California-dwellers, Roller blading is taking off across London. Far more effective than any ‘legs bums and tums’ class, rollerblading is a great way to get fit and enjoy London. Citiskate run four and five week courses which take place in Hyde Park, Victoria and Kew and the Absolute Beginners course covers essentials such as stopping and falling! A four week course costs £145 which includes rental skates that you keep for the duration or £105 if you provide your own. Once you are able to stop at speed and handle more challenging terrain you can join in the Friday Night Skate which is held over a variety of routes.

Military Fitness:

Run by ex-military fitness trainers, these group work-out sessions have been springing up in parks across the capital. British Military Fitness (BMF) is the UK’s largest military style fitness, where it’s all about creating a motivating environment and maximising team spirit in the great outdoors. There are over 13 000 member across 80 local parks across the UK, and classes are run for all abilities.

Watersports:

Not the first thing to spring to mind when thinking of alternative ways to lose the winter paunch, but there are in fact many opportunities to take part in watersports across London.

The Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre has access to Millwall Dock and the River Thames and offers 25 acres of sheltered water, excellent for those who wish to learn one of a variety of watersports in a safe environment. For further information on activities including sailing, canoeing, dragon boating and rowing log on to www.dswc.org. The British Canoe Union also provide useful details on where you can learn to canoe and kayak around London.

For more suggestions, visit www.allinlondon.co.uk.

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