Whether it’s a burst of weight training, getting sweaty in a gym, burning calories with a run or simply rolling out your yoga mat somewhere for some sculpting and toning, having a fitness regime that you actually enjoy is key.
As well as helping us keep trim, we all know that exercise sharpens the mind and releases tension, so it’s no surprise that new research into the reasons we get moving confirms that the main motivation for exercising is to take our minds of things. The study also reveals that 20% of us are boosted or spurred on when we work out with others. So, when motivation slips or your work schedule becomes overwhelming, a regular routine, discipline and group activities can make all the difference to maintaining your fitness goals.
As lockdown slowly lifts, we take a look at the wonderful range of fitness on offer in this dynamic zone one London borough, in time for the re-opening of fitness venues on April 12th.
The Boulevard is perfectly positioned to enjoy the thrill and rewards of running in London. Running or taking a brisk walk is a terrific way to improve cardiovascular fitness and maintain a healthy weight, whilst getting to know the area. Setting off from The Boulevard there are numerous modern and historical buildings to take in. With its expansive view of the city and stunning morning and evening light, The Thames river path is also a well-trodden runner’s paradise.
You burn a whole lot of calories when running and London City Runners, the largest running club in London, will get you sprinting around Southwark. Putting the word fun in the same sentence as run doesn’t seem possible to everyone, but this locally based community ticks the exercising in groups for additional motivation box. The club is free to join and welcomes absolute beginners to marathon runners. It aims to support members to achieve their individual goals and their social focus is thriving; creating hundreds of friendships and even several marriages as a result! Their club house here in Southwark acts as the group’s very own café-bar, situated in an archway in Bermondsey. This venue is open to the whole community, including both runners and non-runners, and hosts workshops and sessions such as massage and physiotherapy.
Another way to supercharge your fitness in Southwark is cycling. The borough is committed to making the area the most bike-friendly in the capital. Whether you’re a cycling pro or new to the sport, the planned new, superior selection of cycle routes will provide plenty of options for cardiovascular fitness and strengthening. Southwark Spine, a north to south route through the borough, and Quietway routes, a network of continuous and convenient cycle paths on less-busy streets across the city, put Southwark firmly on the London cycling map. Additionally, stepping right out of The Boulevard residents will find the new north to south Cycle Superhighway, which actually runs past the building.
Again, there is a group that residents can get involved with to spur them on. Southwark Cyclists provides cycling information, riding events and pairs locals up with a cycle partner.
And to make sure you have the right kit and your bike is regularly serviced, Balfe’s Bikes Waterloo and Nip Nip offer a friendly service and are both close by.
You’ll never become bored of the gym at Bankside Fit Hub. Located on Southwark Street, just an 11-minute walk away, this gym offers everything you could possibly want in terms of fad free fitness. A multi-gym that features the best in-class equipment and facilities in a brilliant location, highlights here include; HIIT classes, body conditioning and boxing. There’s also a sauna and steam room for recovery and relaxation.
Another gym option is Energy Fitness, which is a 7-minute walk away from The Boulevard. Friendly, expert staff at this vibrant local venue will ensure you build a fitness regime that works for you. The gym offers a number of different packages and classes in a friendly environment.
YOGA & PILATES
Located on Borough High street residents will find 3Tribes Fitness which specialises in Hot Yoga, Barre and Float tanks. An oasis to escape city pressures, the studio offers a holistic approach to fitness. Hot Yoga combines mindful stretching and heat which promotes physical and mental wellbeing and inspired by Ballet, Barre focuses on core strength and lean muscle development. Floatation therapy creates a deep sense of relaxation and peace.
Another option for yoga enthusiasts is More Yoga in nearby Bermondsey. Conveniently located for commuters on Tower Bridge Road, this boutique yoga studio brings you the most experienced teachers in a lovely studio with a welcoming vibe. One final recommendation (we could go on and on!) is Bikram Yoga London. Moments away from London Bridge Station, this state-of-the-art studio is the largest in London, so their big classes have a great energy whilst the quieter ones give you lots of space.
We all know that we need exercise to keep our bodies healthy, but it’s super important to remember the benefits of physical activity on our emotional wellbeing. For optimum brain health we need to find exercise outlets that we enjoy, and there’s plenty to choose from here in Southwark.