Let’s get physical
If you’ve fallen off the fitness wagon during lockdown, don’t sweat it: plenty of cool new classes are springing up across the county to help you get back in shape – and stay motivated
At Muddy, we’re all about healthy body, healthy mind (well, before 8pm anyway), so we’ve been out and about in Essex and beyond to see how you can get fit, the fun way.
Hit the barre
No, not that bar. Inspired by the lithe, elongated grace of professional ballet dancers, barre taps into the same muscle groups to define, tone, strengthen and lengthen those flabby fits you want to blast. Hit Body Bliss in Leigh on Sea for its Total Barre workout, which choreographs a combination of Pilates, dance, cardio and strength training to heart-pumping music; CS Pilates & Barre in Waltham Abbey and Fyfield, Ongar, for its energetic booty-blitzing BootyBarre class; or head to Le Barre Colchester for a weekly dose of body-sculpting en pointe workouts. What’s more, most studios are also running Zoom and On Demand services now, so you don’t even have to leave your living room to power plie.
Remember that episode of the Sex & The City when Carrie soars through the park on a trapeze? That looked fun, right? But can it actually make you sweat? Hell, yes! Mastering the trapeze or any other aerial activity is an insane upper body workout, engaging the core, arms, and back. It also helps improve flexibility to get into those more contorted positions. And you can do it right here in Essex. Head down to KL Aerial Fitness Studios in Witham to try your hand at Aerial Hoop and Silks, or hit Flight Aerial Arts in Colchester for lessons in static trapeze, aerial yoga and yes, even a spot of ‘bungee dance’! If you want to fly for real though, you’ll need to book onto the Flying Trapeze School run by Gorilla Circus. Sadly, they’ve been unable to hold their usual lessons in London Parks this summer, but stay tuned for dates next year.
Get your skates on
Studies have shown that inline skating can burn up to 600 calories an hour, targeting not only your leg muscles, but also toning your core. Not bad for strapping on your skates and having an afternoon out with your mates or family, eh? If you already own a pair, there’s nothing stopping you from (literally) getting your skates on and hitting the park this weekend. However, if you’re after something more organised inside, DX’s Rollerworld in Colchester offers up the largest, most modern rink in Europe and runs everything from Skate Nights to structured lessons. Also good: Madison Heights in Maldon, which is home to Sk8ters Roller Rink and hosts Chanelles’ Roller Skate lessons every Monday evening.
OK, so this one is a little further afield in the neighbouring county of Suffolk, but trust us – it’s the closest you’re going to get to riding the waves without traipsing down to Cornwall and Devon, which is fine for a holiday, but not so practical for your weekly fitness fix. Step forward Southwold Surf School – the number one surfing establishment on the East Coast. Tucked away at the end of Southwold’s wide butterscotch beach, this vibrant watersports hub serves up paddleboarding lessons, kayak and bodyboard hire and, yes, beginner surf sessions for newbies who want to learn the technique and catch some tubes (not literally: the East Coast doesn’t really go in for tubing). You’ll receive 60 minutes tuition with a group of up to 10 people, starting on the beach, plus equipment and wetsuits for £35, or, you can opt for a one-to-one for £85. Totally rad, huh? See you at the beach…
A total-body workout, rock climbing uses tons of core to keep you balanced and sculpts both your upper and lower body, while also exercising your brain, too: there’s some serious strategy involved, don’t ’ya know? So, why not join the Chelmsford Mountaineering Club, which regularly runs trips to the Lakes, North Wales, Scotland and Cornwall to test your metal with like-minded go-getters? Or you can keep your feet firmly on Essex soil at the Colchester Climbing Project, which is the county’s only dedicated bouldering centre and runs introduction courses for complete beginners. There’s also The Lock Climbing Wall in Harlow to check out. As Essex’s largest indoor climbing centre, you’ll be in safe hands here with 120 routes available, up to 14m high. Anyone fancy watching Cliffhanger again? Sky’s the limit, ladies.