The fitness and lifestyle writer describes why, for her, Sunday morning fitness means time in Seven Dials
Sunday mornings have a magic about them. There are no pressing engagements, no chores to be done, no emails to be read, no alarms are set on Saturday nights. Sunday mornings feel like the one pocket of true ‘me time’ that I get all week, so I try my best to use that time for self-care. Sometimes that means rolling out of bed at 11, but more often than not, self-care for me is fitness. Moving my body, shaking off the stress of the week and flooding my veins with endorphins.
My perfect Sunday morning activity is a fitness and brunch date – and Seven Dials is my favourite location for this. Like most Londoners, my friends are strewn haphazardly across the capital. It can take us two hours to reach each other despite living in the same city. But no matter where you live, no one is ever that far from Seven Dials – it is a focal point of the city, a perfect compromise for friendships dictated by an unwillingness to stray too far either side of the river.
As well as physical distance, a lack of time is another challenge in maintaining my friendships. I am forever trying to fit more things than humanly possible into my weekly schedule, so it makes sense to combine socialising with my workouts. Nothing fits this brief better than a sweaty HIIT class at Digme with one of my fitness fanatic friends. This is my favourite HIIT class because the cardio element is punch bags, rather than treadmills – and I am allergic to running. They also have a fantastic yoga class for mornings when my body is feeling too sore for boxing, or when last night’s red wine is still lingering in my system.
During the last ten minutes of every workout, my brain flips its focus to food. So the next stop after my Sunday morning class is inevitably brunch. Digme sometimes combine their morning yoga class with a fun and friendly brunch at nearby Apple Butter afterwards (and look out for Gin n Spin classes on a Friday evening soon). But my usual go-to is 26 Grains because of its healthy and delicious breakfasts and lunches, and incredible coffee and juices.
Then it’s time to update my athleisure wardrobe, because I spend 90% of my life wearing some kind of sports kit – regardless of whether I am working out or not. I hit Bloch for versatile leotards, durable underwear, softer than soft trackies in grown-up, neutral tones.
Fashercise is a staple and a must-visit every time I’m in the area. It is essentially a candy store for gym lovers, and I am in Lycra-heaven from the moment I set foot in the door. The flagship fitness shop has the latest trainers, every gym-bag essential you could imagine, and leggings/sports bra sets that will motivate you to get to your gym class even on the coldest, darkest mornings.
If I need something a little more adventurous, Finisterre has all the kit I could ever want for outdoor activities, from wetsuits to walking boots and rain jackets. I fondle the waterproofs while daydreaming about escaping the city for an active weekend of sea air or mountain hikes.
Another favourite for browsing is Dutch bike shop Van Moof. No, I haven’t built up the courage to start cycling in central London yet, but that doesn’t stop me longingly stroking the shiny frames and sleek wheels of these city-ready e-bikes. It’s only a matter of time before I give in and ditch the Tube for good.