A guide to post-Christmas exercise in London

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A guide to post-Christmas exercise in London

Christmas isn't Christmas without a little bit of over-indulgence. We all tend to eat more throughout the winter anyway, but it could be said that December is the main month for it.

And why not? All month long we're free – even encouraged – to stuff ourselves full of mince pies, 'pigs in blankets', brie and cranberry sandwiches and countless other Christmas nibbles. But when the festivities are all over, most of us are a little less streamline than we'd like – that's the snag.

We've put together a mini guide on how to shed those festive pounds in January, so that you can still enjoy your Christmas cuisine as normal. Luckily, London offers countless exercise options – both indoors and outdoors.

Take up running

You already know how much good running just a few miles a week will do for you. As well as offering the physical benefit of burning fat like nobody's business, it also clears your head like you wouldn't believe, and hugely boosts your general sense of wellbeing.

If you're an early bird, running in the morning before any of your lectures and seminars could be an ideal option. It'll certainly wake you up, that's for sure – and it'll put your metabolism into overdrive.

If you're not a morning person or your studying starts quite early, you could go during the evening. It doesn't have to be for long, just 20 minutes or so before your evening meal. One thing we would definitely advise is that you get yourself some proper running trainers. Jogging in things like Converse and Vans can cause permanent damage to your feet, ankles and knees, as those sorts of shoes don't have the cushioning that you need.

If you end up getting a taste for running, you may even like to join a club, such as the London City Runners – who meet up three times a week.

Join a gym

The old tricks are the best – and where weight-loss is concerned, joining a gym is one of the oldest and most effective in the book. As long as you use your membership properly, and actually take advantage of the facilities.

Luckily for you, several of our accommodation locations (Hammersmith and Highbury) have on-site gyms – so the key to fitness is right on your doorstep (or tucked under your doormat, if you like).

Do more walking

One of the best things about living in London is how easy it is to get around on public transport – we often take the tube for granted, and of course there are thousands of buses we can hop on to get across the city.

However, sometimes it's nice to walk places and get some fresh air into the lungs. If you have any fairly short journeys to make during the day, which you usually make via public transport, why not try walking it? Of course, you don't have to do this every time – but two or three brisk strolls a week will certainly burn off a good few excess calories.

Things to remember

  • Exercise is most effective when coupled with a healthy diet, so cutting down on junk food as possible is another sure-fire way to lose weight.
  • As we said earlier, we'd definitely recommend that you invest in some specialist running trainers if you're planning on taking up jogging – it's definitely worth investing in a pair of Nike, Asics or New Balance (these are the main brands you see serious roadrunners wearing).
  • Have fun – exercise should make you feel good and you should enjoy it; sure, you might feel a little achy after your first few sessions, but that's natural – don't do any activity you don't enjoy.