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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?




The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.

When you get there

Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are a girl.

Meet & Mingle

A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes for speed dating London. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!

Complete your score sheet

After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.