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PARK LIFE!

PARK LIFE!

10 June 2009

For the locals, Dulwich Park is a place of pilgrimage in the warmer months.

What with fantastic play areas, tennis courts, bikes for hire, impromptu cricket and regular footy matches, our kids are doing their level best to counter the tabloid accusations of Britain's couch potato youth.

But what of us, the supervising adults who sip on cafe-bought cappuccino while they run about?
Beautiful sunny days can make even the most dedicated gym user reluctant to go indoors to keep up their fitness regime. So people's thoughts turn to jogging, cycling, perhaps a trip to the lido. Unfortunately, however, unsupervised (and often solitary) exercise plans can too quickly slow down and ultimately fizzle out.

If five mile runs transform into three pleasant hours sitting outside the pub with a jug of Pimms, even those toned, honed bodies recently accustomed to whole-body work outs will become out of condition and injury-prone, no matter how good the tan!

Of course a solution could be to join one of the many military-style exercise classes which are springing up. Operating largely on a drop-in basis, anyone can respond to the motivating barks of 'Faster! Further! Higher! Lower!'  Now, this may be all well and good for the super-fit masochists amongst us, but for more (...ahem...) normal folk, perhaps another approach might be the answer.

How about this? Meet up in East Dulwich with a group of like-minded people, run at your own pace to Dulwich Park and once there, nicely warmed up and enjoying the early evening sun (come on, it's summer, where's your optimism!) take part in an hour long circuit class run by qualified trainers who know when enough is enough as well as when you can be pushed just that little bit harder.

esph, East Dulwich's physio-run gym, wants to makes summer exercising safe as well as fun. If we had a beach round these parts we'd be running on the sand and swimming in the sea. But we don't. We have Dulwich Park with its miles of smooth paths and fantastically kept grass.  So we plan to make the most of it. Both existing gym members and their friends can join the outdoor programme, secure in the knowledge that the trainer will have a good idea of their fitness levels as well as any dodgy backs/ankles/hips that might benefit from a wary eye.

So get out those diaries and put a little star next to Wednesday evening throughout the summer (6.30pm). The virtuous part will all be over by 8.30pm...which leaves enough time for a smug 99 (with all the trimmings) before the sun goes down.


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