Get Fit the Liverpool Way
Gym. Swim. Zumba? Na, they don’t take our fancy anymore either.
But January, why have you got to be like this? We’re all here desperately clinging on to our Christmas bellies and crying into a mouthful of chocolate gateau for one last time. Despite our cries, the January force has awakened, and it takes no prisoners when it comes to that annually-dreaded diet and exercise-fad battle of wills.
By February, we’re getting a little bored of slogging it on the treadmill and by March…well, let’s just say the waistline isn’t looking so streamline. The key to keeping it all up is trying out something a little different; starting to see fitness as being not so much a chore, then a hobby or experience. And hey, if you drop down a dress-size, lose a few pounds or gain a few abs, it’s a bloody good bonus. Cancel the membership, chuck out the cozzy, and let’s put the quirk into your work-out this year and get fit the Liverpool way.
Power Walk in the Parks
Liverpool is blessed with beautiful parks – they are the lungs of the city. So instead of pounding the treadmill, get out and about in the great outdoors and take a run around one like Sefton Park, the Mystery or Walton Hall. With Sefton Park being 235 acres, you’re going to get a decent workout, and getting a bit lost on a crisp morning is what it’s all about. Alternatively, go for power walking. Put on your comfiest shoes and time how long it takes you to walk around the park. Next time walk a little quicker, and then quicker again. It’s the perfect time to do it as you can spend your walks watching the bulbs come up for spring.
Ticket to Ride
A bike ride through the city will help get the heart pumping, but why not throw in a little Liverpool history while you’re at it? Cycle the waterfront, or ride from Anfield to Baltic Triangle. Or, for something a bit more fun, devise your own Beatles tour across the city. Start at the Beatles childhood homes in South Liverpool, cycle past their old schools, by Strawberry Fields and then Penny Lane. Wave hello at the Magical Mystery Tour as you go past Ye Cracke and then LIPA, Sir Paul McCartney’s institute of performing arts. Work your way past the Hard Day’s Night Hotel and then finish at the Cavern. Depending on your route – it’s a 7-9 mile bike ride across the city. Remember there’s plenty of City Bikes to rent if you’re not yet equipped. Easy. Peasy.
Try an Urban Sport
Yoga schmoga is what we say. Free-running, urban golf, or hashing – where you start in a pub and end in a pub which possibly defeats the purpose – are great ways to get outside and do something a bit different. Why not try Wakeboarding, the Albert Dock has its own Wake Park all year round, plus it hosts the biggest wakeboarding competition in the UK each year, so you’ve got something to work towards.
We always say we need to get out and about more, but how would you feel about walking your 10,000 steps every day and not really noticing? You might learn something about the city around you. Psychogeography is all about exploring the geography of a place and how it affects the mind. It’s about drifting and stumbling across places you didn’t know were there. If you’ve ever read Ronnie Hughes’ Sense of Place blog you’ll know exactly what we mean. Try it yourself, start at your front door and walk to another part of town, keeping an eye out, having an open mind and tracking what you think on your phone. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, just whiling away the hours as an urban explorer.
Martial Arts with a Brazilian Twist
Capoeira (pronounced cap-wearer) combines all the good stuff – dance, acrobatics and music – with the self-defence elements of martial arts. It’s been around for 500 years but you’re better late than never. Don’t be put off at the start when you’re not a dab-hand at cartwheeling and hand-standing because after a few weeks and months of training, you’ll be surprised at what groovy moves you’ll be able to do. Classes run at The Brink on Parr Street and The Academy in the Baltic Triangle.
Work that Wall
This is one for the Spiderman fans out there too. Take out your frustrations and the woes of the week by scaling the walls of Liverpool’s climbing wall near to the docks. There’s over 1,000 square metres of climbing wall with hundreds of routes, so more than enough room to grab all of your mates are put a new spin on your usual catch ups. You definitely won’t look back.
Love your (new) Tum
We all know it – the best way to be fit and healthy is to do it all the time, rather than just January (argh!). But don’t worry, Liverpool’s indie food joints are now proving that healthy food doesn’t have to be dull. It’s not like when we were kids and were forced to eat our greens. So explore the places you could go that opt for healthy treats – think The Brink, Maray & Mowgli with its gloriously nutritious and veg packed curries. Even LEAF and the cyclist hangout Ryde Cafe. Opt for hangouts that taste as good as their interior looks and you’ll feel boss all year round. After all, you get out what you put in, right?