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Sporty Socials in Time for Summer

Thursday May 28, 2015

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We've had a few sunny days of late which raises the question, is summer just around the corner? Personally I hope so. Although, given the number of years since my days of high sporting achievement, the thought of bearing even the smallest part of my pale body in public fills me with anxiety.

So I’ve decided to try and get fit. But I’m a people person. The idea of running alone along the streets of London, or breathing in the odours of fellow grunters in a gym is one I’d like to avoid.

But I’ve done a bit of research and here are my top tips for the most sociable ways to get fit for the Summer.

Outdoor Fitness Training

An increasingly popular way for busy Londoners to get fit and meet people.

It essentially involves meeting a group of people in a park and then get shouted at by an Adonis type figure as you run, walk, lift, throw and push your way to a sweaty mess.
The great thing here is that many of the exercises involve you pairing up with others so the pain can be shared. A lot of companies are also picking up on the social bit and run a variety of non-sweat inducing events for members.

Spin classes

Normally considered the domain of the busy mum, spin classes they are a changing. I did one about 2 years ago. I was the only guy and the intensity of the workout was vomit inducing.
However, a physiotherapist friend of mine told me about a couple of gyms running social spin. I’m yet to delve any deeper but it appears that bikes are arranged in a circle, the workout is moderately light and the idea is to chat and catch up while you pedal the puppy fat away.
Not sure on this one but I’ll keep my eyes peeled.
 
Tube Water Polo

Yup. You read correctly. It’s water polo while you lie back in an inflatable tube. None of that mad dash and splash while trying to prevent accidental death by drowning. Far more relaxed and friendly but a surprisingly good work out for your core and upper body.
And the major benefit is that in such a reclining position no-one looks good so no need for embarrassment when your swimming cossie doesn’t fit.
And it’s really silly fun.

Hula Hoop

Keeping in line with the circular theme how about group hula hoop classes? A surprisingly good work-out, two hours of giggling and bumping into others and a good gender balance. You can book as an individual or a group of friends and more and more venues are popping up around London.

They even have specially weighted hoops for different types of exercises. I’d probably avoid the Fire Hoop class though.

Ping Pong

Apparently invented in London in 1901, Ping Pong for most of us doesn’t conjure up images of muscle tone to die for. But there’s lots of stretching and it’s still a sport, so there.
But best of all it’s kinda the new trendy thing to do with ping pong bars popping up all over the city.

Grab a cocktail, grab a table and away you go. Challenge the table next to you, get chatting, flirting and pong your way to a healthier, more sociable lifestyle.
Okay, the real reason this is my top pick is because it combines my need to do more physical activity while meeting people, with two of my favourite past times: Drinking and Eating.
Perhaps that washboard stomach will wait until next year.

And of course we have to mention there's another rather wonderful way to meet people and that's at our singles events in London. Why not check them out?

WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS