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The Comedy of Errors

13 Ways to Get Fit in Nottingham That Aren't Boring

8 January 16 words: Bridie Squires and Lucy Manning

From laser quest to trampolining, we've got you covered for fitness regimes and hobbies this new year in our top-13 list

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Planet Bounce
They’ve bagged themselves an old warehouse, bundled in a truck-full of springy rubber and air-filled sacks, and created themselves a wonderful world that’s full of trampolines. You can quite literally bounce off the walls to rid yersen of that festive layer of fat, or indulge in a spot of dodgeball to pound the pounds. It might sound like child’s play but, honest, you’ll feel the burn in muscles you never thought existed in the days to follow. It’s not one you can do on your tod, so round up them mates of yours, don the slip-proof socks and get dahn to it.

Woodside Riding School
Living int citeh, you’d be forgiven for thinking Notts is nowt but a mass of concrete, Wetherspoons and coffee shops. Take a little wander beyond the city walls, though, and you’ll find a right pretty bit of countryside. Perfect for a brisk hack. Work your core muscles and tone your thighs, all while atop a mighty steed. If you’ve never done it before, you can grab an hour’s lesson with the riding instructors at Woodside Riding School, who’ll show you the ropes before you have a potter around the surrounding countryside. Proper Sunday morning stuff, we reckon.

Fencing
Unbeknown to many, there are shedloads of places to fence in Nottingham. And you actually get to shout “En guard!” and dress up like a fifteenth-century Spaniard. Also, it’s deeply satisfying to poke swords in people with impunity... but it does get mega hot when you’re wearing all the gear, so sweaty Betties, beware! A great chance to brush up on your hand-eye coordination as well as your lunge game, fencing has been around for yonks and it is imperative that Nottingham keeps the tradition alive. Go forth. Parry.

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Climbing
One day, you may find yourself hanging off a cliff thinking, “Shit, I knew they had a couple of climbing centres in Nottingham, I certainly wouldn’t be in this pickle now if I’d ventured out of my comfort zone. Hey, I wonder what I will have for din...aaaaaaaarrrrggghhh.” Well, fear not. You can nip the slackness in the bud right now and get down to Nottingham Climbing Centre where you can do a beginner’s session for £35. A bit pricey at first maybe, but you need the gear: membership, harness, shoes, and a bit of tuition if you’re a newbie. But once you’re off, you’re gonna be the baddest Spiderman or woman in town. So pull out the stamina, intelligence and strength from the back of your drawers and hop to it.

Critical Mass Bike Rides
You might have caught these crazy cats bombing around town on their bikes and thought, “What the bleeding hell are they up to?” But now you can chuck the mystery out of the window, brush off your rusty Raleigh rotting away in the shed, and join the force. The concept is simple: loads of pedal people get together and ride all over town. Sometimes there’s a bloke among them with a massive speaker on the back bringing the absolute vibes, and some people like to wear fairy lights and the like for general awesomeness. All for free and in the spirit of community feels. Have a look at their Facebook page to get involved and meet lots of lovely, new friends.

Sustrans
Have a check of the Sustrans website for free activities all over the city, cos they often post up free guided health walks in their diary – perfect if you’re just getting started and need something gentle to ease you in. They’ve got a load of Dr Bike sessions registered already. “What’s Dr Bike?” we hear you cry. It’s basically a stall, set up for you to take your piece down and learn how to get it fixed up, all for free. From everything from tightening your brakes, to giving your spokes a good owd spruce. Ooh, you can get yourself prepped for them Critical Mass Bike Rides, can’t you duckeh?

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National Water Sports Centre
We’re lucky enough in Nottingham to be home to the National Water Sports Centre – home of white water rafting, kayaking, wakeboarding, sailing, open water swimming, canoeing, and all other kinds of fun crap. Although it might not be the weather for it at the minute (if you’re a wuss), it’s worth bearing in mind for when the sun starts coming out to play, because getting stuck in to some of this stuff is a proper crack. Especially white water rafting – if you get a load of your mates involved, you all end up screaming at each other and getting chucked into the water. If that don’t tickle your pickle, you can always check out the gym on site, or go for a leisurely stroll around the place. It is bloody glorious, after all.

National Ice Arena 
Whether you fancy yourself a few proper ice-skating lessons, or just want to get stuck in to one of the public sessions, the sickest ice rink in the country is at yer service. If you want to relive those Friday nights doused in disco lights with your little cronies, now is the time. If you can’t seem to dig your dapper size-4 skates out of the back of the wardrobe, get yersen strapped into a pair of Billy Blues and you’ll be off. It’s a proper laugh, and you’ll be playing for the Panthers before you know it. Failing that, The Libertines are on at the end of the month so you could always go for a dance to a newly-reformed, stand-up member of society, and his clan, instead.

Go Ape
Perhaps not the most calorie-burning endeavour, but a chance to get some proper fresh air in your lungs… and fly around in the air like a crazy mother. Go Ape is pretty scary at first, especially if the thought of heights makes you bob your pants, but once you get going it is a bleddy joy. Attached to a zip wire, you make your way through obstacles in the heights of massive Sherwood Pines’ trees, and end up feeling like Tarzan by the time you get to the end of the course. If that don’t toot your horn, you can rent a segway or a bike and bomb around the woodland. Sorted.

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Laser Quest
When was the last time you chased your mates round with a toy gun screaming “Pyew! Pyew!”? Most likely, far too long ago. Get a massive pile of mates, pick your teams of war, and commence the fight. Only the wicked shall survive. Quasar Elite have got loads of hidden cubby holes for you to take cover and stealthily blast the shit out of the opposing team, and you always end up coming out dripping with sweat and PTSD. Fun for all the family, and dead cheap with or without the discount for teams with over fifteen members. You could even start your own league… and win it.

Archery
What better way to celebrate our Nottingham heritage than with a bit of bow and arrer action? Exercise your inner Robin Hood and get stuck in to some precision sport. There are sixteen clubs to pick from, and loads of competitions to enter once you become any good at it. In fact, Nottingham is playing host to the European Archery Championships in May this year, so keep your eye out if you just fancied spectating some of this awesomeness. Best thing to do if you want to get involved is check out the Nottinghamshire Archery Society website, as they’ve mapped out all the places you can draw and release on a lovely little map.

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