2020 Resolution: Get in Shape in the Lakes!
New year new you… or looking to try something a little different? Those familiar with the area already know that the Lake District is a natural adventure playground for activity, especially for walkers, climbers, riders and swimmers.
But sometimes, especially around the turn of the year, you may be looking for something a little more structured, or regular, or even something to commit to longer-term. If so, this list of fitness ‘must-try’ activities around the Lake District in early 2020 could be for you…
1 Fell Foot Parkrun
‘Parkrun’ is a formally-run national network that allows runners of all abilities to take on a park-based run, usually a 5K, alongside like-minded people. The great thing about Parkrun is the casual nature of the event. It’s not a race, but if you’re competitive, you can still try to claim the fastest time. And those looking to just try running out or shed a few calories can do that too without any fear of ‘losing.’
Fell Foot Park is located on the edge of Lake Windermere and is easily accessible from the Newby Bridge and Lakeside area of Cumbria. You can get to it pretty comfortably from Kendal, Windermere and anywhere in between around the South Lakes. Fell Foot is a National Trust site (so cardholders can park up for free) and an absolute must-visit park for anyone looking for a beautiful lake view. You can even have a dip in the Lake to cool off once you’re all run out!
Try the Fell Foot Parkrun every Saturday at 9am! More details can be found here.
2 FIT Cumbria
Ok, so this one isn’t strictly an event you can turn up to and get a good workout. But it is a 2-day health and fitness show where you can try out some classes, access expert advice and tips and experience new ways to work out you may not have ever considered.
The event runs on the weekend of February 2nd at the wonderful Rheged centre between Penrith and Keswick and for the entry fee of £5, is well worth a visit!
5 The Eden Valley Epic
Regarded as a season opener for cycling enthusiasts, March 1st is a date for your diary if you’re looking for a supposedly ‘gentler than the norm’ 60 mile ride to kick off your springtime on the saddle. The route starts at Penrith Cricket Club and takes in spectacular views of the Eden Valley.
4 Kendal Castle Aquathon
If you can’t decide between a swim or a quick 5K run, why not do both? Well, one reason not might be the chilly February temperatures as dusk settles in. But if that hasn’t put you off, the Kendal Castle Aquathon might be perfect for you.
You can enter this as a two person relay team or put in a solo effort, starting with a 400m swim in the Kendal Leisure Centre pool before taking on a 5K run lit by a head torch through the old canal path route and around the iconic castle ruins. A hot brew at the end will probably be a welcome prize, especially for those jumping out of the pool and into the cool!
5 Lakeland Trails
Whatever your running level, there’s a Lakeland Trails run for you. Ranging from picturesque 5K trail runs all the way up to 55K and 100K ultra marathons across the region, there’s a full calendar of challenges that can provide either a new challenge for those used to a quick 30-minuter or the most experienced and well-travelled marathon runners.
Every event is well marshalled with a carnival atmosphere, meaning the whole family can cheer you over the finishing line while enjoying an ice cream or a burger, and the finisher’s t-shirts are famously ‘must-have’ collectors items for runners all over the Lake District. From Staveley to Keswick, there’s sure to be an event (or more) that’s perfect for you.
To register or find out more, click here!
If getting out and about isn’t right for you, or if you just prefer the regime and routine of hitting the gym, there are a huge range of fitness centres all over Cumbria offering world-class equipment, classes, crossfit sessions and personal training sessions.
Kendal, once known for having as many pubs as it did residents, is fast becoming the fitness capital of the South Lakes with more gyms and fitness centres opening their doors every 5 minutes. Whether you’re local or just visiting, many of them provide day passes and walk-in classes as well as the usual monthly memberships.
We’ve found a pretty comprehensive list of gyms in Cumbria over at thelakedistrict.org, complete with a handy map of the county to help you find one that’s right for you.
Of course... with the Lakes and dales surrounding you wherever you go, there’s no shortage of other ways to up your activity and find your fitness hit. We could also touch on the likes of Grizedale forest, home to the GoApe treetop adventure course, segway riding (which is harder on your calf muscles than you might think!) and an array of complex woodland walks.
There’s also the likes of Total Warrior near Penrith, and the family-friendly Colour Dash in Kendal during the Summer. With events all-year round, a full list of everything that’s coming up would take us a few days to type up in full!
However, we hope the above suggestions will help anyone out who may be looking to set themselves an early 2020 fitness goal. Having something to train for, aim for and work towards is widely regarded as being a key to boosting fitness and losing weight. You may even discover your new favourite workout along the way!