Working out is fun, isn’t it? Getting those endorphins flowing, feeling the blood pumping, knowing you’re doing both your body and your brain some good?
Ok, we can hear those eyebrows raising from miles away. You’re right — working out is very often not fun. When it’s in a stuffy, overcrowded basement gym and you’re nursing a hangover from the night before, it’s the very opposite of fun. So that’s why we’ve curated a list of the best outdoor workouts in London.
Exercising outdoors is a whole different ball game. Whether rain or shine, the fresh air spurs you on to ever greater exercise heights; and there’s something about being surrounded by nature that seems to help you discover resources of strength you never knew you had. (Plus, you don’t have to queue for the running machines. That’s only ever a bonus.) So take your marks, and get set to read on…
Find the fun in running, with Pure Sport’s Run Club
Wednesday, 6.15pm, Battersea Park. That’s what your mid-week diary is going to start looking like; because you’re going to want to join Pure Sport’s Run Club. We know; running can be dull. If you’re running on your own, doing the same old route day after day or gazing into the middle distance while on a steadily turning treadmill, then of course it’s dull.
But there’s nothing dull about Pure Sport. It’s a social 5k, so that instantly adds a level of fun that belies running solo; but it also offers track sessions in Battersea Park, together with opportunities to smash PBs, improve sprinting technique and dozens of other ways to bring the spice back into running by challenging yourself in ways you never have before. The club currently has over 2,000 members, and there’s a WhatsApp group with over 200 members you can be part of, too. See? We told you this is a club you’d want to be in. Lace up your running shoes, and get going.
Pure Sport's Run Club
Flex Chelsea have all your outdoor yoga needs taken care of
We’re normally pretty sympathetic to the plight of a gentleman; but if you’ve never managed to get into yoga, we have no sympathy where that’s concerned. It’s time to invest in a yoga mat, gents; because yoga will — without a doubt — transform your life. Who wouldn’t want to be leaner, longer, stronger and healthier in both mind and body? Such are the benefits of yoga; and that’s only the beginning.
And, happily for you, Flex Chelsea are running outdoor yoga classes by the Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park. Yoga doesn’t get much better than this. It’s a Strong Vinyasa Flow, which means you’ll be working hard, with lengthy holds and the introduction of more advanced postures — essentially, it’s a rejuvenating workout with all the benefits of yoga relaxation and fresh air. Who could ask for more?
Classes are on occasion, so make sure you stay up to date on the Flex Chelsea Instagram…and if a class pops up, head straight on over to Battersea Park. Your life will never be the same.
Head on over to East London for a rejuvenating workout with Victus Soul
The setting is Victoria Park; and the scene is the studio’s signature HIIT & Run workout, adapted to the great outdoors in the lush greenery of Victoria Park. It’s speed, strength and conditioning in one sweaty package; and you’re guaranteed to push yourself to the limit.
Lungs and legs will take a blast in the ‘Run’ portion, with the group interval treadmill training sessions; hill, sprint, endurance and sled runs all make an appearance. And where strength is concerned, primal movements are at play here, guaranteed to see your muscles burning in the best possible way. There’s a guaranteed recovery time, too; just as well, if you’re doing all that under the July sunshine.
Upgrade your fitness to military level with Be Fearsome
There’s fit, and then there’s fit. There’s the sort of fit where you can comfortably for for a 5k run without having to stop and clutch a stitch in your side; and then there’s military-level fit. That’s a whole new realm of fitness; and it’s one that Be Fearsome prioritises. While they’d never look to leave anyone behind — these guys aren’t like that — you can expect a tough, challenging class that’ll encourage you to really push your boundaries.
The classes are designed by military ex-trainers with (quite literally) thousands of classes under their belts. You can opt for Be Fearsome Fit (the signature bootcamp), Be Functional (which utilises kettlebells and dumbbells), Fearsome Running (which presumably explains itself, although we’ll add that it’s an expertly run coach led session, which will help you become a more efficient runner), or Be Mobile (aimed at those recovering from injuries, or who prefer a slower pace). Whichever one you choose, get ready to hustle over to Hyde or Battersea Park, and prepare for the workout of your life.
Get into spinning with Static
Spinning is generally a love/hate sort of exercise. It has a dedicated crew of spinning enthusiasts, who’ll loftily proclaim its myriad benefits while clutching a kale and protein smoothie; and then there are those who swear they’d rather do Tough Mudder every weekend for the rest of their lives than endure a single spinning class.
Well, if that’s you — you may want to rethink things a little (or even a lot). Static has made spinning fun. Yes — fun. It’s taken up residence in Nine Elms, and it’s running weekly outdoor silent disco spin classes throughout the summer, together with monthly event rides. On 18 July, for example, there’s a double riverside ride swiftly followed by a brunch at the neighbouring Black Cab Coffee. If that’s not fun, we don’t know what is. Locations are always either riverside or by the new skypool in Nine Elms; and we’ll eat our baseball caps if Static doesn’t set a whole new London-wide spinning fan club in motion.
Get out on the water with Active 360
If you haven’t been able to get abroad this year, you have our heartiest commiserations. But don’t despair just yet; because a holiday activity beloved by many is taking place right here in London, thanks to Active 360; and it also happens to be a pretty good workout. That’s right — paddleboarding is doing the rounds on the Thames, and we’d strongly recommend adding it to your diary (which, by now, must be bursting at the seams).
If you’re inexperienced on a paddleboard, never fear; you can opt for a private session if you’re not ready to be part of a group just yet. But if paddleboarding has always been your watersport of choice during long summers in Salcombe, then get ready to head out onto the Thames for a guided tour of London as seen from a whole new perspective. Your first session will be £59 for two hours; thereafter, for ‘return paddlers’, it’s £45 for the same timeframe. A bargain, if you ask us, given how much fun you’re bound to have.