Our pick of the best, unusual ways to lose weight, get fit and have fun in London this December.
Be among the first to try this intriguing-sounding ‘yoga in the dark’ class. Andhakara Yoga is a new yoga style from Mexico practised in pitch black to the sounds of live war drumming. First-time participants have been known to run from the room, but the idea is to move through that fear ‘towards empowerment’. How will you react?
2 December, Glasshill Studios, King Bench Street, SE1 0QX, 7pm. £25.
London has nearly as many Santa Runs as Santa has reindeer. Our top pick for 2015 is the Clapham Common London Santa Dash in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital, because you can choose between 5k and 10k, it’s a pretty route and it’s for a very good cause. But there are plenty of other places you can don a silly red and white suit and run around in December: Battersea Park (5 December), Victoria Park (6 December), City Hall (6 December), Ruislip Lido (6 December) and Muswell Hill (12 December), to name but a few.
5 December, Clapham Common, 10.30am. Entry £22 for adults; £15 for kids (5-15)
Diverse Dance Mix
Has Strictly got you in the mood for dancing? Try DDMIX, a new workout based on different dance styles with easy to follow steps, created by the lovely Darcey Bussell. Their next London class is in December, at Rambert, on London’s South Bank.
6 December, Rambert, 99 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PP, 12.15pm
Another tip for the early adopters. Sign up to The Well Scene’s December Fight Club, and you’ll be among the first to try out new boxing studio, KOBOX London; it’s not even open to the public yet. The class, led by KOBOX Founder and Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer Shane Collins, is an authentic boxing based workout; you’ll skip rope, shadowbox and punch your way through a 60 minute circuit-style workout. Then it’s time to refuel with a protein shake and delicious post-workout meal.
10 December, KOBOX London, Chelsea, 7.15pm. £35
Operation Skyrace: Climb The Heron Tower
Tackle almost 1,000 steps in this charity challenge in aid of Action on Hearing Loss. You’ll have unrivalled views of London from the glass-walled staircase as you climb to the 39th floor of London’s Heron Tower. There are treats at both ends of this run: check out Europe’s largest privately-owned aquarium at the bottom while you register, then enjoy an amazing panoramic view of London from the finish line.
13 December, Heron Tower, £25 per person or £100 for a team of five
Calm before Christmas: Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra
Christmas is a stressful time, what with all the planning, parties and present wrapping. Take some time out from all the festive madness and join Good Vibes founder Nahid on a restorative yoga workshop to open the heart and mind for the celebrations. You can take time to reflect on the year just gone and set good intentions for the year ahead.
13 December, 14-16 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BU, 5pm. £25
VeloPark Tri London Shortest Day Duathlon
Head to London’s VeloPark for a run-cycle-run duathlon on London’s shortest day. Taking place on a closed road circuit surrounding the 2012 Olympic velodrome in Stratford, the race features a two mile (two lap) first run then a 10 mile (10 lap) bike section before finishing with a one mile (one lap) final run. It’s open to all abilities whether you’re trying your first duathlon or you’re a seasoned triathlete.
20 December, VeloPark, E20 3AB, 9.45am. £10 for Triathlon England members, £17 for non-members
Inspired by Madonna’s 80s hit Vogue, House of Voga offer a fitness class combining all the holistic benefits and focus of yoga with a cardio workout set to classic 80s beats. Try a Voga Flex class (designed to increase flexibility) on the winter Lodge d’Argent terrace at Coq d’Argent, complete with reindeer rugs, heaters and festive decorations.
20 December, Coq d’Argent, 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ, 11am. £15
Christmas Day ParkRun
Sometimes you’ve just got to get out of the house. This is especially true on Christmas Day. Thankfully, the brilliant ParkRun teams are giving Londoners the chance to get a 5k under their belts before eating their body weight in festive fayre and slouching on the sofa for the rest of the day. Check out the list of ParkRuns taking place on 25 December, and start this jolly holiday with a rush of seasonal endorphins. What a great way to have a Happy Christmas.
25 December, various locations, free