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11 Fun Ways to Get Fit in Leeds

· Ali Turner · Style

January health kick? Exercise doesn't have to be dull, at least not in Leeds.

The Climbing Lab, Leeds

Getting fit is usually a chore, so why not make it a little more fun with these 12 unusual ways to get your 30 minutes a day?

Don’t want to hit the treadmill in your mission to get fit? You’re in luck, because we’ve hunted down 12 fun ways to shed those extra pounds. From turning up the heat to freejumping and overcoming your fear of heights, there really is something for everyone.

Try your hand at Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga Leeds

Leeds city centre has its very own dedicated hot yoga studio, in the form of the oh-so creatively named, Bikram Yoga. It’ll see you working your way through 26 hatha yoga postures in sweltering 40°c heat – and while that may not sound like the most appealing prospect, the heat actually helps your muscles to relax, so you can get a deeper stretch.

Bikram Yoga, The Core, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6JD.

Work out in a club-like setting


Credit: Amy Heycock

Picture this. You step into a darkened room that looks like a club – but it’s filled with fitness equipment. That’s TRIB3. It’s a boutique bootcamp where you’ll be put through your paces while the lights change from blue to purple to red. It’s not just a workout, it’s a psychological trip, as they use every trick in the book to make you hit your personal best. The workout itself is tough – it’s a mix of interval training on the treadmill, resistance training on the floor and high-intensity floor and functional training.

TRIB3, 68A Wellington Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2EE.

Join Leeds Canoe Club & hit the water

One of the reasons why getting fit feels like such a chore is because you usually do it on your own – so why not join a club? That way it’s as much about socialising as it is about exercising. Leeds Canoe Club is the perfect choice. They run a whole range of outings, from relatively tame pool sessions to outdoor expeditions that will see you water kayaking in the Yorkshire countryside. There’s a waiting list for their introductory course, so get your applications in ASAP.

Find out how to join…

Pick up some new urban dance moves

Ever told yourself that a good boogie on the dance floor would undo all those cocktails? Then you should get yourself down to KOBY Studio. They’ve created a warm, welcoming space where you can take part in a huge array of classes, from hip-hop and street dance to afrofusion, house and urban bhangra. They even have a special dance-fitness class for people who are deaf or hard of hearing – the speakers are placed face down on the ground, so you can feel the beat through your feet. Genius!

KOBY Studio, 23a, 66-70 Mabgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7DZ.

Give bouldering a go

The Climbing Lab, Leeds

Credit: Sarae Akhamal

Bouldering is a great all body workout, but if the winter weather is putting you off, fear not, because you can do it indoors at The Climbing Lab. A fantastic, sociable space, it has one of the only top-out bouldering walls in Yorkshire, which means you can climb up and over the wall, just like you would in the great outdoors. They have routes for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or a pro – you can even work towards a NIBAS Bouldering Qualification.

The Climbing Lab, 14 Kirkstall Industrial Park, Milford Pl, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2AZ.

Take on an almighty obstacle course

Need to kick start your fitness regime? Have a crack at the Fitness Success Obstacle Gym. It’s completely different to everything you’ve tried before, an outdoor gym that will see you tackling monkey bars, crawling through tunnels and climbing nets in your mission to get to the finish line. This is the perfect way to prep for Tough Mudder, but you don’t need a reason to have a go, you can do it for a laugh, on your own or with your mates.

Fitness Success Obstacle Gym, Wakefield Road, Oulton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS26 8EW.

Have a crack at parkour & freejumping

Ever wondered how you get into parkour? The Level Up Academy is the answer. It’s a not-for-profit community company that’s been set-up specially to help you learn urban sports like parkour, tricking, aerial arts and acrobatics. Parkour is a mix of strength and agility, so it’s a great workout – and it’s fun too. You’ll learn to react and respond to your environment, learning techniques that will help you jump, climb and swing from one place to another.

Level Up Academy, Unit 4 Lockwood Court, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 5TY.

Train like a firefighter

Firefighting is one of the most physically demanding jobs you can do. You need strength, muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness – which is why firefighters have to train so hard. And now you can do the same workout that they do, because two of ‘em have opened up their own gym. Their classes will put you through your paces with real fireman drills complete with hoses, casualty dummies and breathing apparatus – or you can head upstairs to the gym, which has all the usual gear, as well as sleds, tractor tyres and even sledge hammers.

Firehouse Fitness, Centaur House, 91 Great George St, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3LA.

Make the most of the local countryside

Leeds is right in the heart of God’s Own Country, so you’d be mad not to go exploring. But it can be a bit daunting when you’re first starting out, especially if you don’t have anyone to go with – which is why Take a Hike is such a fabulous little find. It’s a Leeds group that organises regular walks, locally and further afield. They have something for everyone, with easy, beginners walks that you can even bring a buggy on, right up to technical 10-mile treks that only experienced walkers can take on. You can try it out to see if you like it, but if you want to keep going, you’ll need to join The Ramblers Association.

Find out more…

Race through the treetops

Go Ape

Credit: Kelly Last licensed for commercial use under Creative Commons.

It may not be a regular routine, but if you want to mix workout and pleasure, Go Ape is a fantastic choice. This treetop adventure park promises an adrenaline-inducing trek over their 15-metre high obstacle course. You’ll take on high speed zip wires, free-fall Tarzan swings and a medley of death-defying crossings as you enjoy a 3-hour stint in the trees. You’d be amazed at how many calories you can burn without ever feeling like you’re working out.

Go Ape, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0DX.

Build your strength in mid-air

Leeds Aerial Arts

Credit: Leeds Aerial Arts

The aerial hoop classes at Leeds Aerial Arts will leave you hanging from the ceiling as you improve your strength and flexibility. They offer a six-week fundamentals course to help you grasp the basics. It starts with learning how to mount and dismount the hoop safely, then it’s a case of working through a range of static poses and basic rolls. Afterwards, you can progress to classes that focus on more challenging, conditioning moves – by this point, hanging upside down will be the norm.

Leeds Aerial Arts Studio, Studio 2, Cross York Studios, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7BL.

Cover image © Copyright Leeds-List 2020 by Sarae Akhamal