If there's one thing we've learned during the pandemic, it's that there are so many different ways to exercise that don't require being stuck in a smelly gym for an hour or so. London has a whole range of outdoor fitness classes and activities that will enable you to get in shape and socialise at the same time. From the intriguing 'Rabble' to highly popular Be Military Fit, there's something for everyone, regardless of your level of fitness. Read on to find out the top ways to get fit outdoors in London.
1. Be Military Fit
Be Military Fit is one that'll really test your endurance. This hardcore boot camp is fronted by Bear Grylls and is offered at 140 locations across the UK. Be Military Fit classes involve squats, lunges, burpees and push-ups, as well as enough running to get you working up a sweat. Be Military Fit costs around £38 per month and can be found at over 30 parks in London, including Battersea Park, Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath. You can find out more on the official website.
Take a break from the treadmill and join your local Parkrun. This is a weekly 5km run that takes place in beautiful parks around London and is also completely free. You can run or jog at your own pace, and there are a number of friendly marshalls dotted around en route to boost your motivation. To take part in Parkrun, head to the website and find your nearest event.
3. ZipFit Club
Step away from your desk and book a session with ZipFit Club. Head down to Hyde Park on Monday, Wednesday or Friday lunchtime and try this group training activity that focuses on improving your cardio and bodyweight resistance. Kick off with a short jog and stretch, and then complete 20 minutes of interval training. The class only lasts half an hour, so you'll be able to get back to your office in time for your afternoon shift.
4. Rooftop Yoga
For something a little less intense, check out rooftop yoga. Classes are held at various locations across London, for example on the 72nd floor of The Shard and at the top of a car park in Peckham. Rooftop yoga promises stunning views and thus is very popular, so get there early. Sessions usually cost between £10 and £20.
Rabble is guaranteed to make you reminisce about your childhood. It aims to make exercise less of a chore and has been described as "team sports with a twist". Anyone can take part in Rabble, and it includes old school playground games such as 'Capture the Flag', 'Stuck in the Mud' and 'British Bulldog'.
6. Outdoor gyms
Outdoor gyms are ideal for anyone who prefers to exercise on their own – and you don't have to worry about the hassle of having an annual contract. There are so many outdoor gyms in parks all over London, from Paddington Recreation Ground in the west to Kilburn Grange Park in the north to Queen Elizabeth Park in the east to Southwark Park in the south. Most outdoor gyms are fairly similar, with equipment such as incline benches, parallel bars and low bars.
7. Nordic Walking
Nordic walking originated in Finland and requires participants to use poles whilst walking. It aims to work your upper body as well as your legs and burns around 20% more calories than ordinary walking. Nordic walking can also strengthen your back, abdominal muscles and posture. You can join a Nordic walking group in various locations across London, such as Hampstead Heath, Teddington and Wimbledon.
Also known as SUP, stand up paddleboarding is the fastest growing water sport in the world and has seen a particular surge in the last couple of years. While paddleboarding is popular in coastal regions such as Cornwall and Devon, it is also available in London thanks to companies like Active 360. Paddleboarding is a challenging task to master and will improve your balance.