Be all you can 'B'!

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Posted by Ross Williams on Monday 9th of June 2014

This week it’s about all you can ‘B’!

Whilst we’ve still got a long way to go on our A-Z of activities and fitness in the Capital, I’ve got a feeling ‘B’ is going to compete heavily for one of the quirkiest selections! So below we’ve got some fun things, a couple of almost normal things, some hardcore ones, and also some just plain bonkers ones! Whatever you decide to have a go at...have fun!

Do you always watch those youtube videos of awesome breakdancing and think ‘I wish I could do that’! Well dream no longer, it’s not magic, just like any other sport it simply takes some effort to get yourself some lessons, and then a load of practice. On the plus side it’s not just a skill but brilliant exercise too, so you can kill two birds with one perfectly aimed freeze move! Are you still reading?! Come on, what are you waiting for, caterpillar your way to dance school now:

There are very few simple one-off exercises I’ll include in these A-Z’s as it could take me all year, but I think Burpees are the head honcho of pain when it comes to circuit training type exercises, and warrant their place in the list as a result. For those that don’t know what it is, start standing up, then as quick as you can crouch down, hands on the floor by your feet, and jump your feet backwards so you’re in a press up position. Then jump your feet forwards again, and in one nice smooth motion from the crouch, jump up as high as you can. Try to land by going straight down into the crouch again, and repeat...Add sets of 10-20 of these into any of your existing routines and you’ll soon learn to hate them! But if they’re not hard enough, then just add in a press-up when you’re in that position. Fun fun fun.

Once purely the realm of teenagers and those who grew up in the 80s, now it’s an Olympic sport! As a result there are now more places you can officially learn the skills with the right supervision, rather than getting some mates together and making a few ramps out of random bits of wood and wondering why the photos never seem to show how high you thought you jumped. The Olympic venue itself is home to one of the best tracks around and so now you too can learn how to tackle it like the pros:

If you like hardcore exercise, sweating more than Silvio Berlusconi at one of his ‘cabinet meetings’, shorts pulled up way to high, oh, and being hit in the face, then boxing is the future for you. I think that pretty much sums it up! Being a little less churlish though, it is a punishing exercise schedule, and of course you don’t have to go in for the hitting in the face bit for a while. There are a fair few clubs around London, so just google your local area for details, and don’t be put off by the image, in my experience they’re nice and friendly....for a bit!

Boris Bikes
In the middle of town and got some time to kill? Or just wondering what to do one evening or one weekend? Well, there are bikes all over the city, so put them to good use. And by that I mean set yourself and perhaps some mates a suitable silly challenge and have some fun. A challenge-based treasure hunt? Time-based sight-seeing? Race round the Royal Parks? Or you could try the latest craze of taking Boris Bikes out of the city to try and accomplish some crazy bike route and still get them back before you get fined for going over 24hrs on hire time! Go go go go!

We all love going to the ice rink right, but apart from a lucky few naturals most of us look about as elegant as the token drunk at a wedding when their favourite song comes on. Not a pleasant sight, but often an amusing one. Well now there’s a better reason to hit the ice. Broomball is basically ice hockey for Brits, in that the ice skates are done away with, and the sticks and puck replaced with, well, shorter sticks and a ball. Broadgate Ice Rink plays host to a broomball league every winter, so check their website out in the autumn for details. It’s great fun, good exercise, and a fun team sport for anyone missing their days on the sports field.

Bubble Ball
As if broomball wasn’t enough, now there’s Bubble Ball. Yes, someone always has to go one stage further don’t they?! So football was just too easy, too serious, and way way way too strict on the body contact rule. Enter Bubble Ball. Simply put on your very own ‘zorb’ (it’s smaller than the sort you roll down hills in, this one covers you from above your head down to your waist), get yourself into teams, try and see where the ball is, and charge about like a lunatic bouncing off anything foolish enough to get in your way! It’s really a cross between football and pinball. However for all that it’s easily mockable, it is seriously hard work as those zorb’s aren’t light, and boy do you sweat! Worth trying at least once...just watch those knees and ankles, it turns out that being mostly encased in a bubble isn’t as injury-proof as you’d think...

And finally back to something a bit more normal, phew. Badminton’s a great social game, and the beauty is it’s fairly easy to pick up to a level where you can have some good rallies, unlike tennis perhaps. There are courts at local sports centres everywhere, so if you have others keen to play too then it’s an easy and cheap way to catch up with friends, have fun and keep active all in one go, or if you’d like to take it a bit more seriously then there are clubs using these same centres too so just google your local area for badminton club and away you go...

I hope this gives you a bit of inspiration to try something new and get some mates together or just take the plunge yourself. And if you’re not sure then check out what’s in our calendar coming up too:

Have fun!
Founder, 8th Day Adventure club.


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