5 fun ways to stay fit when visiting London
London plays host to millions of visitors each year. It’s one of the most popular locations on the planet and there’s certainly plenty to see and do.
Whether you live in the UK or have come from further afield, getting a fun-size dose of exercise is really important. Fortunately, there are plenty of activities you can take part in when visiting the capital, especially if you want to try something a little different.
Here are four entertaining activities to get involved with in one of the world’s busiest capitals.
1. Walking Tours
There is a walking tour for all tastes in London and it’s easy to find a tour that not only keeps you fit but also gives you a slice of culture to boot. Tours run for most of the year and a quick look online will uncover some real gems.
- If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you can spend a couple of hours discovering locations that were used in the films.
- For those who love history, there’s the chance to take in Westminster and pay a visit to Churchill’s war rooms.
- If you fancy something a little more macabre, there are Jack the Ripper and ghost hunt tours – perfect for a winter evenings.
There are some really great street art walking tours and fitness experiences if you visit London throughout the year. They combine art with heart-healthy walking.
There is a lot of urban street art in and around the city, especially in areas like Shoreditch where you might even see the odd Banksy or two. At the same time as seeing some amazing art, there’s a chance to get immersed in the culture and music of locations such as Notting Hill and Brixton.
Yes, you can go on walking tours yourself but it’s much better to have a guide who knows the area well and who can create an exercise framework that fits your ability.
2. Join the GoodGym
If you want to combine exercise with doing something useful while meeting some brilliant people in the local community, then GoodGym might just be your cup of tea. The initiative was set up 12 years ago and has gone from strength to strength.
It’s based around a simple principle. You go for a run but do something good at the same time. For example, you might run to a home in the local community where you’ll help to clear a garden or do some housework. Alternatively, you might run to a local park to help plant trees, support a local food bank take part in a community gardening project or something equally amazing.
You don’t have to be super fit or even a regular runner to take part in an event. All you need is a decent pair of jogging shoes and some comfortable clothes. You’ll meet people from all walks of life and different levels of fitness. Each event takes off from a central London location where you can store your stuff safely.
Runs generally vary from about 3 to 15k and all you need to do is sign up on their website to get started.
3. Rooftop Yoga
Terrific views and plenty of exercise, that’s what you can find higher up in and on top of London’s buildings. Rooftop yoga has become something of a fad in the capital in recent years and it seems anyone who is someone is doing it. Here are just a few places you can practise yoga at a great height:
- One of the more spectacular locations is London’s Shard. On the 24th floor, you can watch the sun coming up with an early morning session. Different skill levels and age groups are catered for.
- If you love the beach but can’t get to it, a trip to Neverland is in order. It really is the next big thing. Located at the Fulham Beach Club, you’ll be looking over the Thames, surrounded by palm trees and sand.
- Sky Garden is on Fenchurch Street, high up on the 36th floor. If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful session that runs most of the week, this is really worth a try. The healthy breakfasts are pretty good too.
Yoga classes are on the increase in the city so it’s worth having a search around and booking a place once you’ve settled in.
4. Biking in the Park
While it’s often seen as a large, sprawling metropolis, London actually has an amazing amount of greenery. There are no less than eight Royal parks in Greater London and some 400 green spaces in the City of London itself.
These are brilliant locations to get some serious exercise. You’ll often find groups doing all sorts of things from aerobics and yoga to tai chi, all of which you are welcome to join in with. If biking is your thing, the great news is that you can hire one up almost anywhere in the city and cruise down the pathways.
There are docking stations for Santander Bikes in many places around the capital and you can hire for as little as £2. You do this by either paying with the phone app or simply using the terminal at the docking station. It takes just a few minutes and you’re ready to go.
London has become a bike-friendly location in the last couple of decades. This is a healthy way to get around the city if you want to explore it without relying on public transport.
5. Running tours
There are a growing number of running tour companies and guides. They will take you for a jog or a run at your pace around many of the tourist attractions. You can join a group run or hire a running guide to take you on a bespoke tour according to your fitness levels and the time you have to spare.
Staying Fit in London
These are just some of the less conventional ways to get your daily exercise fix when you visit London. Whether you love to run, walk, bike or bend your way to fitness, there’s something for everyone.