10 Jul 2013

Today I'm Testing: Fitness Playground

There's a lot to say in favour of outdoor training, especially if you like me seem to be spending your life below street level (I work in the basement, my gym's in the basement, I sometime commute underground, and so on). A while ago I read this article in The Huffington Post that suggests that doing outdoor exercise means a 50% greater effect on mental health than going to the gym, and in this day and age (with all the stress we experience associated with our modern society)  I think a lot of us are happy for every chance we get to increase our mental wellbeing. But you don't have to be a researcher to see the benefits with exercising outdoor in the sunshine instead of being locked up in a basement gym, am I right?!

Today I jumped on the outdoor training bandwagon and went to my first ever Fitness Playground session. In true 'failed fitness blogger'-fashion I have no pictures, but there were lots of smiles and sweat, people were wearing lycra and the crime scene was the South Bank area around the Tate Modern. There, now you can paint your own mental pictures of the whole thing, but just make sure you make me look good okay?!

The session started out with a warm up jog to a little park where we did some warm up games (and one girl managed to possibly fracture her wrist falling over....but don't fear going to a session, it was a freak accident that could've happened anywhere and the Fitness Playground gents are not to blame) before we yet again set off running . The session continued like that for the majority of the hour it lasted, alternating between running and stopping to do bodyweight strength exercises at various urban locations. My favourite part was when Dan produce a harness and had us sprinting at full speed whilst being detained by the harness - it's safe to say that our legs were buuuurning.

The friendliness factor is high, which is appreciated by a country girl from the north of Sweden who usually thinks that London is a pretty unfriendly place. Dan and Pete were both very welcoming, taking care to learn all our names and introducing everyone to eachother. By doing  several playful games and races people relaxed and there were lots of laughter in the group throughout the session (another London rarity....). It was a group of mixed backgrounds and abilities, and whilst I love going to places like Barry's Bootcamp and exerting myself with fellow driven and dedicated people, I really liked the more relaxed atmosphere and the banter at Fitness Playground.

So was there anything I missed? Not really, I thoroughly enjoyed the session, but I wouldn't have minded a little longer strength sessions. Now as you know I love running, but I also really like press ups and would have loved a few more of those. The session was varied and never dull, and before you knew it the hour was over. For those of you who would like a friendly yet effective form of exercise, Fitness Playground is definitely for you. For those of you who want an unfriendly and ineffective form of exercise I recommend a personality transplant. Over and out!

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