London is full of opportunities to get fit, so now that it's a new year, January is usually the big month to do it. The city is currently crawling with people running and jumping and bending and dancing their way to a healthier lifestyle. Here are nine folks you'll probably spot around town right now.
The Newbie Runner
After the festive slump, these are the super-keen people who kickstarted their year with a New Year's Day jog while others watched from the window with a hangover. Good for them. But these newbs will get frustrated when running through crowded streets, and they’ll most likely be wearing a brand new kit with the label hanging out. You'll also find many of them rubbing blisters on the tube ride home from a jaunt around Richmond Park.
The Scarily Uncoordinated Cyclist
These people got a brand new bike for Christmas yet haven't cycled since they were 12. But that’s okay! Just as long as they don't quit their job to become a Deliveroo driver just yet. Watch out for the sheer terror in their eyes as they try to navigate the cycle superhighway and get shouted at by passing vans.
The Reluctant Yogi
Yoga is big business here and many of these people fancy themselves as a bit of a yogi, but they don't always go into it with an open mind. They'll head to their nearest yoga hangout with their keen yogi friends, a mat rolled up under their arm and secret dreams of being super bendy and totally zen almost immediately, but they just can't hide their inability to do the downward dog.
The Power Walker
Oh, they will walk everywhere, no matter what anyone says. These are the people who boycott Uber and the tube, because walking is free exercise, and why on earth wouldn’t everyone do it all day, every day? They’ll have a large, bulging backpack that includes everything they could possibly need to survive their journey from Clapham to Westminster.
The Bootcamp Junkie
It’s January and the bootcamps are back in business. This means people will don their warmest fleece and head out to Regents Park no matter the weather, ready to roll around in mud and catch a cold in the name of exercise. They’re some of the most determined fitness enthusiasts, even in winter, and there will be a leader dressed in army gear screaming at them to do ten more of something that looks very painful.
The Motivational Quoter
These people can't resist sharing an exercise-related meme on Facebook, a motivational Insta-quote or a podcast about how to maintain the January fitness mindset all year round. But good luck spotting these guys working out.
The Dance Enthusiast
Dance classes are great because they feel like you're having a party with your friends and… lies, all lies. It’s brutal and painful and actually somewhat embarrassing if you're uncoordinated, but those dance enthusiasts sure are dedicated to their craft. They’ll be hanging around outside various church halls and YMCAs across the city, with towels around their necks, circling their ankles to warm up and talking about their favourite workout songs by Rihanna or Drake.
The Experimenting Exerciser
London is filled with some of the wackiest exercise classes in the world, so January is the time these people attempt that thing they've vaguely heard of but don't quite know what it is but it sounds good so #YOLO. You'll spot them carrying a strange piece of equipment that they don't know how to use yet, or they'll be telling the world about their brand new skills. Think aerial silk classes, surf yoga, floating HIIT workouts and more. If it's weird, they're into it.
The Big Talker
Sometimes people say they're going to spend every moment of January working out, swearing off those G&Ts, and just generally being healthy. And sometimes those people end up like this. We salute you.