In the last few weeks I’m certain any regular gym-goer has noticed an influx of new members. Many of whom are eager to begin their New Years’ resolution of carving out their physiques to find their promised ‘new you’ lurking within this January.
A brand capitalising on this seasonal rush – complete with a glossy, high-end print, digital and out-of-home advertising campaign, Commit to Something, shot on location in Los Angeles by fashion photographer Steven Klein with styling by Mel Ottenberg and featuring models Alan Jouban, Dudley O’Shaughnessy, Erik Sage, Lydia Hearst, Mark Maceachen, Ryan Tift and Silvester Ruck – are Equinox. The American import, whose sole UK gym is located in the historic Derry and Toms building on Kensington High Street, state that “Equinox is about commitment, we are obsessed with it, and we challenge our members to know who they are and what they want,” and this message is conveyed through their newly-released aspirational promotional materials.
Equinox offers their members access to individual training and various classes, such as Boxing Boot Camp and Tabata, in venues associated with energy, luxury and an impeccable attention to detail. Which is ideal if you want to train in an indoor group environment, by yourself or with one or two friends in an exceptionally well-designed, modern facility.
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However, this isn’t the only environment in which to enhance your fitness – particularly for those individuals who prefer to train outdoors, by themselves, or in an outdoor group environment with a specific goal in mind. For instance, traveling to somewhere with sunshine later this year, participating in a sporting competition or meeting new people while they exercise. I recently received a newsletter from Tom Cullen, editor and founder of I Choose Birmingham, which briefly discussed his attempts at improving his fitness and options available to achieve this goal within the Midlands. This piqued my interest and I subsequently began researching alternative methods of improving my own health and well-being, too – some of which are discussed below.
British Military Fitness
British Military Fitness (BMF) was founded on the principles of training learned in the armed forces. The idea is to get people of all fitness abilities outdoors training in parks, with motivation provided by military trained instructors. However, those behind BMF recognise that their classes are only effective and fun if an individual is exercising at the right ability level for them. Consequently, they decided to divide all class participants into three main ability groups: blue for beginners, red for intermediates, and green for advanced participants. This ensures that each participant is guaranteed an effective workout with people with a similar level of fitness. For further information about BMF and class locations, visit here.
Many of us will be familiar with Quidditch through Harry Potter, the series by author JK Rowling. However, it’s not required that you enjoy the books or films to participate in the sport, even if Rowling did publish a guidebook to Quidditch several years ago. Quidditch UK write that the sport “is a trailblazer in the sporting world for inclusivity, played and followed by some of the most open-minded individuals in the world. It is both fun and highly competitive, a great hobby, keeps you fit and also makes you a part of a great community.” For further information, click here.
UK Ultimate, the National Governing Body for the sport of ultimate in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, write that “Ultimate is a fast-moving team sport enjoyed by millions of players the world over. Although frequently compared to sports like soccer or American Football, Ultimate has some unique features that set it apart. There are no referees. And it’s played with a flying disc. To compete at the highest level, Ultimate players require speed, agility and endurance. Yet beginners find the game easy to learn and fun to play.” And they invite you to “Grab a disc, get out there, and discover why many think this is the ultimate team sport.” For further information, click here.