Want to push yourself out your comfort zone and discover something you love? These five activities are just the ticket.
It’s never too late to try something new and anything with a sense of adventure is a bonus, right? You can go mountain biking through the beautiful countryside or try your hand at free running in an enormous urban park – and that’s just the start. It’s time to drag yourself off the sofa and get stuck into something you’ve never tried before.
Train like a ninja in an urban sports gym
Free running is an activity that’ll have you jumping and flipping your way across a medley of obstacles. Level Up Academy is the ideal place to do it, a huge urban park with foam pits, monkey bars and towering blocks. Not sure where to start? You can get familiar with it at one of their beginners’ parkour classes where they’ll show you how to get the most out of all the equipment. When you’re ready, it’s time to hit their open gym sessions, where the obstacles become your playground.
Level Up Academy, Unit 4 Lockwood Court, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5TY. Open gym sessions are £8 and the adult parkour classes are £10 per session.
Beat the rest in a competitive orienteering tournament
Aireenteers (AIRE) run competitive orienteering sessions that put your fitness and logic to the test. It’s like a giant treasure hunt with the excitement of a race thrown in. Your task is simple – working individually, you’ll be given a map with numbered checkpoints. The aim is to be the first person to find each one in the correct order. There’s no set route, so it’s up to you to weave your way around without getting lost.
Airienteers (AIRE) run events around in various locations across Leeds throughout the year. Each session is £4 for adults. Annual membership is £25 a year and gives you discounts to various events.
Get to grips with skateboarding
If you want to give skateboarding a go, LS-TEN is the best place to start. It’s an indoor skate park run by a charity that encourages people to stay active in a fun and inclusive space. They do a lot of work with kids, but adults of all abilities are also welcome. You can glide around bowls and tackle half pipes in their workshops – you won’t even need to book. When you’re feeling confident enough, you can head to one of their open sessions to put your skills into practice.
LS-TEN, Unit 1 Kitson Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1NT. Half-day entry starts from £6 for members and £7.50 for non-members. Annual membership is £35 for adults.
Tackle great-big boulders without any ropes
Bouldering is one of the most accessible ways to go climbing, as you don’t need any ropes to do it. To kickstart your adventure, head to The Climbing Lab, a dedicated bouldering centre that offers introductory sessions. From improving your grip to learning how to fall safely, you’ll find your feet in no time. Then you’ll have free reign of their impressive climbing centre. It’s home to a mix of vertical walls and overhangs, as well as the city’s only top-out boulder, where you climb up and over.
The Climbing Lab, Units 14 & 15, Kirkstall Industrial Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2AZ. Entry starts from £7 for adults and £6 for children.
Race through the trees on your bike
Mountain biking is the perfect way to combine fitness with a sense of adventure and Otley Chevin is the ideal place to do it. It has a sprawling network of bridleways on the eastern Danefield side of the ridge. Miller Lane is a straightforward route for beginners, complete with spectacular views of the Wharfe Valley. Want to step it up a notch? There are steep, rocky descents deep in the woodland, the kind that’ll force you to tighten your grip and focus your concentration.
Otley Chevin Forest Park, East Chevin Road, Otley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS21 3HB.