It’s Christmaaaaaaaasssssssss!! Which means mince pies, office parties, tinsel and loads and loads of festive fitness events. Here’s our pick of the best.
Women’s Health Run Club and Yoga
Tuesdays from 22 November, 18:00, Another Space Covent Garden
Join the lovely ladies from Women’s Health magazine on their latest venture, a free run club. The 4-5km routes are led by a run coach and leave from the swanky Another_Space studio in Covent Garden (we like it there). After your run there’s a 30-min yoga class to stretch out. Lovely. It’s all free but you do need to sign up online to nab a place.
From 1 December
Now in its third year, Advent Running is an annual challenge to run for 30 minutes every day from 1-25 December. And honesty, it’s better than advent chocolates.
Set up by keen runners and coaches Claudia and James, the idea is to be active with the support of an online Facebook community who’ll provide virtual cheers on the days when you’re lacking motivation. There are giveaways, group runs, special events and loads of general running love, and if you’re not much of a runner you can walk or do something else active instead as long as you get moving. This is the third year I’ve joined in, and I’ve found making time for exercise gives you a bit of valuable headspace in the midst of party season, as well as building a good base to start training in the new year. Join in!
Adidas Runners Special Events
Mondays, 18:30, London Bridge, Fridays 07:00, Farringdon
If you follow us on Instagram you may have noticed we’ve been hanging out with a few Olympians recently – HIIT training with Tom Daley, running with Jo Pavey and the Brownlees. And if you don’t follow us on Instagram, you need to sort that out sharpish.
We’ve met all those incredible athletes at Adidas Runners sessions, which are aces and completely free you just need to register. A fun, friendly running group, they hold two structured run sessions a week and every so often a special guest pops up. Two Olympians are expected on Friday 2 December (it’s a secret who) and we don’t think that’s going to be the last of them – keep your eyes on the Facebook page for more details.
November Project London ‘Showing Up’ Premiere
1 December, 18:15, WeWork Paddington
If you haven’t heard of the November Project yet, it’s a free workout movement, which started in Boston in 2011 and is now in 32 cities worldwide, with London being one of the most recent. Every Wednesday at 06.29am (ouch) the London group meet up near St James’ Park for a free outdoor workout – just show up and join in for some pre-work fun.
If you fancy learning a bit more about it, this week they’ve joined forces with Virgin Sport for the UK premiere of Showing Up, a documentary telling the story behind the November Project. There’s a free workout beforehand so take your trainers.
£5 Classes at Frame Victoria This Weekend Only
2-4 December, Frame Victoria
Reformer pilates, yoga, ’80s aerobics, Beyonce Barre… all classes at Frame Victoria are just a Lady Godiva from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 December inclusive. Go mad, book a few!
Jingle Bell Rock Dance Workshop
3 December, 15:00, Frame Shoreditch; 10 December, 14:00, Frame Kings Cross; £25
Get your Santa hat at the ready and head down to Frame for a two-hour dance workshop, where you’ll learn the routine for the Jingle Bell Rock dance from classic high school movie Mean Girls. Thigh slapping and festive cheer guaranteed.
4 December, 11:30, Ministry of Sound, £30
You might think of Ministry as somewhere to go and rave your bits off but it also hosts some pretty cool fitness events. The latest is from Nike master trainer and Muay Thai fighter Sonja Moses. To blasting music, Sonja and her team of ninjas will put you through your paces with rounds of pad work interspersed with high intensity fitness moves. Sounds tough/petrifying. All attendees get pre,- during and post-workout juices and shakes. Sounds like you’re going to need them.
A Plant-Based Christmas With Deliciously Ella
5 December, 18:30, Whole Foods Market, Kensington, £5
Deliciously Ella is doing a Q&A at Whole Foods chatting all about healthy, veggie options at Christmas. Go along and ask her your questions, try some of her recipes and walk away with a goody bag containing some of her energy balls.
Secret London Runs Christmas Carol
6 December, 18:00, secret location in EC4, £19
Embrace your inner Scrooge, form a team and track down the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future on this 6km run challenge through Dickensian London. Can you find a turkey for Tiny Tim? Poor lad. There’s mulled wine after and a prize/ever-lasting glory for the winning team.
Winterise Your Bike Workshop
6 December, 18:00, Cycle Republic, Fenchurch; 7 December, 18:00, Cycle Republic, Bloomsbury and Battersea
Want to know more about riding through the winter without your tyres exploding and fingers dropping off? These free interactive workshops, will take you through some of the bike basics needed to keep you on the road.
Festive Vino Vinyasa
15 and 20 December, 18:45, Bethnal Green, £15
All this Christmas socialising can be draining so why not throw a bit of exercise in the mix next time you catch up with friends? This sounds pretty perfect, a yoga class set to Christmas tunes where Christmassy outfits and accessories are encouraged and you get a couple of glasses of organic red wine after. Bingo.
RunThrough Greenwich Park 5km and 10km
18 December, 10:00, Greenwich, £20
Yeah Greenwich Park is hilly but look at that medal! If you’re an avid bling collector then the RunThrough events always give good metal and the Christmas version is definitely worth scaling a couple of hills for. Plus you can hang it on your tree afterwards.
25 December, nationwide
For the ultimate in seasonal smug, get up early and run your local parkrun on Christmas day. Fab festive atmosphere guaranteed and someone’s bound to bring along mince pies. Check here for a list of the parkruns taking place on 25 December and New Year’s day. Our local one isn’t on so we’ll just have to go to the pub on Christmas Eve instead.
Longmoor Camp Brutal Run
31 December, 10:00, Hampshire, £15-£24
See 2016 out in a blaze of mud and sweat with this NYE run through the sand dunes, hills and water holes of Longmoor Army training camp. There are 8km and 16km options (basically one lap or two) and a Mini Brutal for kids. Quite tempted by this if anyone fancies joining us?
Rave & Behave with Fitssi (New Year’s Eve Fitness Party)
31 December, 20:00, Karake Box, Smithfield, £11.21-£37.76
NYE, it’s always a bit of a disappointment isn’t it? So you might as well start your resolutions a day early and get a bit of a workout in as you party. Organised by new fitness app Fitssi, the night involves workouts from special guest trainers including Bradley Simmonds, post-workout shakes, DJs, drinks and dancing. You get a free taxi home from Uber as well, which is pretty sweet. Use the code RAVE25 for 25% off all ticket types.
Know of any fun new year fitness shenanigans? Share the love and email details to firstname.lastname@example.org