Overdone it during the festive break? Work off the Christmas flab and have fun with these five action-packed experiences in London.
Join a Free Parkrun
If the thought of going to the gym makes you shudder, take your exercise outdoors on a Parkrun. These 5km timed runs take place weekly across London – in fact across the world – and best of all it’s free to join in. Search the Events List on the Parkrun UK website to find your nearest run. Just a sample of the locations include Alexander Palace (‘Ally Pally’), Finsbury Park, Greenwich, Hackney Marshes, Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common.
One hour running (at 8mph) burns: 877.5 kcals*
Try white-water rafting in Lee Valley
For something that will really get your adrenalin pumping, go hurtling down the Olympic rapids at Lee Valley White Water Centre. All you have to do is book a seat on the raft or charter your own, then the centre’s staff will organise everything else – from equipment and clothing to training and safety instructions. But once you’re on the course, it’s down to you and your team!
One hour of white-water rafting burns: 325 kcals*
Follow the Thames Cultural Cycling Tour
Get off the beaten track, and explore London with the help of the Thames Cultural Cycling Tour. This 27km (16.8 mile) route starts at the South Bank and follows the River Thames to Greenwich before heading north to Canary Wharf and Limehouse before heading back to the South Bank. The map even includes interesting facts about notable spots en route. More about cycling in London.
One hour of cycling (under 10mph) burns: 260 kcals*
Go rollerblading in Hyde Park
Pick up your blades and head down to Hyde Park to show off some moves. Just remember to stick to the (nice and smooth) roads and cycle tracks. If you fancy some company, join the London Friday Night Skate or – if you prefer a slower pace – the Sunday Stroll. These weekly, marshalled events are free and all about, they say, the pure joy of skating.
One hour of skateboarding (well it’s almost the same) burns: 325 kcals
Learn English Country Dancing at Cecil Sharp House
Learn the basic steps of an English country dance at the London home of English folk, Cecil Sharp House (near Regent’s Park). The drop-in classes take place every Thursday evening and will whisk you through moves used in ceilidh dances, barn dances, American Contra dances and English country dances. More London dance classes.
One hour of dancing burns: 422.5 kcals*
*We worked out how much you’ll burn in one hour (based on a person weighing 65kg) thanks to a little help from the Bupa calories counter.