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Hampstead Heath Ponds

22nd June 2021


Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, especially in the last year where we have all looked for new things to do in the great outdoors. As well as being great for building core strength, it helps the mind too, getting you out on the water where you can relax and unplug from the stresses of daily life.

In London, there are many companies offering lessons for beginners. Active360 have multiple locations including Paddington which is very close to The Athenaeum, Back of Beyond are based in leafy Richmond and if you’re looking to get out of the city, our sister hotel, The Runnymede on Thames in Surrey have boards available to take out onto the River Thames.


Eye Yoga

With more of us working from home and taking fewer breaks, we’re spending longer looking at screens. That’s why Eye Yoga- designed to reduce eye strain and eye fatigue – is a current fitness trend. Similarly to regular yoga, the exercises will strengthen and lengthen the muscles, making the eyes look more awake and lifted. Best of all, you can do it all from home!

Try this simple stretching exercise to get you started. Keeping the eyes closed, look up as far as you can and count to four. Slowly look all the way down, with eyes still closed, and count to 4. Repeat 3 times. For more, try Phoebe Greenacre’s 5 eye exercises.


Wild Swimming

Wild swimming is another water sport that has soared in popularity over the past year, as people have spent more time in nature. It’s one that more and more people are trying thanks to its physical and mental health benefits. Fantastic for de-stressing, it can be a form of meditation as you are brought into the moment, forced to think of only the physical sensations, leaving any other thoughts or worries behind.

Our favourite wild swimming spot in London is Hampstead Ponds, nestled in Hampstead Heath.  There are both mixed and single sex ponds to choose from, and afterwards, you can relax in one of London’s best loved parks.

Hampstead Heath ponds

Climbing the height of Everest… on a bike

A trend that boomed in lockdown for cyclists was ‘Everesting’, aka climbing 8,848m of elevation – the equivalent of Mount Everest. Whilst cycling enthusiasts would have previously achieved this by climbing a local hill multiple times, during lockdown this could be attempted from the comfort of their home on a Peloton bike. Although this may be a bit too challenging for many of us, Peloton bikes are still extremely popular. Give it a spin yourself at our gym.

Spa Manager Kayleigh Anderson

Tracking your workouts

Fitness trackers and smartwatches have seen a huge increase in sales! Whether it’s sharing your run on social media, taking part in step competitions with friends or simply wanting to beat your own personal bests, tracking workouts can be really motivating.

We recommend the Fitbit Versa 3 which has a built-in GPS to track pace and distance and a workout intensity map to show where you worked the hardest along your path.

Running in Green Park

Shopping sustainably

Making more sustainable purchases is not a trend limited to fitness, but luckily there are many brands going the extra mile when it comes to producing environmentally friendly active wear. Whether you’re a yogi, runner, or looking to take up wild swimming, there’s plenty of eco-conscious brands to add to your wardrobe. Stay Wild swimwear is made from entirely recycled materials and even has a carbon-neutral delivery service, EcoYoga have created biodegradable yoga mats and Manduka’s leggings are made using plant-based materials, organic cotton and recycled polyester.


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