Active Travel- London Part II

Thursday, May 12, 2016

School holidays are rapidly approaching.  If you are headed to London, here are some ideas on how to stay active during your trip.

Up at the O2- Thanks to Simply Health, my husband and I were recently invited to climb the O2 Arena in Greenwich. It isn't for the faint-hearted, although there are many safety precautions put into place. The ascent is 28 degree climb, while the decent is even steeper- 30 degrees! You are given trainers with good grip and are locked on to a wire, so you can't fall off or knock too many people over.

Ready to climb on s sunny day
Photos before the climb starts
Capturing the view

My descent

James and I went on a sunny day down to Greenwich. The entire experience takes about 90 minutes as there is a safety briefing, each visitor is then given proper shoes and climbing gear, and then there is a 10 min break once you reach the top of the O2. James and I climbed the O2 three years ago but it was a cloudy day, thus making the view unimpressive at the time. We had gorgeous weather this visit around, but a new hotel and flat tower now block the views across the river to Canary Wharf.

I walked about 22,819 steps that day with climbing the O2 after parkrun (see next point) in the morning, burned 2,673 calories, and had 118 active minutes according to my Fitbit Flex. Even though I have been running and riding a bit more lately, I still felt an increased heart rate during the climb (stairs always get me, so this is no surprise). As you are strapped onto a safety cable, the whole group has to stay together because no one can pass each other.  There is no pressure to rush as people are enjoying the view with every step.  Unfortunately, it isn't something I can afford to do every day, but between Up at O2 and parkrun I walked many more steps that day than I usually do (I aim for 10,000. 14,000 if I want Bounts points).

parkrun- Admittedly, I only started going to parkrun when we moved to Forest Gate as there weren't any locations close to our previous two flats. I am happy to say I even have turned James into a regular attendee (I think he has been more times than me). It is a free timed run on a Saturday morning, not a race as everyone is a finisher. You can find a one here on a global map if you are not based in London as there are several international locations. If you are visiting London, it is a good way to meet the locals and discover a new park while sweating a bit too.

Oliver, one of the kids at my parktun

#Stancerun = socks + run
East London art run with Stance- True, this evening itself was a one off, but you can reach out to Alternative London to arrange another street art running tour. Stance socks launched their European Street Art (#Stancerun) tour last week.  We were treated to a four mile run around East London (follow me of Strava and you should be able to see the route). We stopped often to learn about the art work and the artists behind them.  It was amazing to me that the art ranged from Banksy in Tower Hamlets to miniatures on pieces of gum by Ben Wilson, to huge black & white murals by Phlegm, to bronze statues atop light poles by Jonesy. Big thanks to Gary, our tour guide, for spontaneously adding in a woman artist  (can't remember her name) to our route (wooden blocks on a lamp post) after I inquired about the lack of women street artists mentioned so far on the tour.

Wee bit of gum that is also art
After, we were able to watch a live street artist make a mural on Stance boxes and we were then able to take a box (aka a piece of the art) home.  I have box #33.  Stance socks are super comfy and range in design and functionality (I am going to find a pair of Olympic USA socks if it kills me!).  They also have high-vis reflectors to keep you safe when running in low light conditions near cars.

Street artist making art for us to share
There are lots more active things in London to try if you visiting.  I will post a part III in a few months.  What attractions in London do you visit to keep active when travelling?

This post was sponsored by Simply Health.

1 comment:

  1. Visiting you I put on 10,00 steps easily every day. Using public transportation has lots of stairs and gets you to walk to tourist attractions.

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