Waistband shrunk? Beat the festive season excess

Has the festive season taken its toll on the waist-line and fitness levels?  Liz at Lancaster is spoilt for choice as far as gyms, exercise studios and outdoor activities are concerned.  Oh dear …  I wish writing about exercise counted towards fitness levels! 

Full Gyms with range of activities

Planet Fitness  in the Lancaster Centre is a full-blown gym with swimming pool, steamroom, squash courts, full circuit equipment, and a range of classes: aerobics, dance, Pilates, yoga and aqua; as well as access to the usual fitness assessments. Plus they take casual drop-ins at R150 a time (which when converting from dollars or pounds brings a smile to guests’ faces). They have extended hours from 5am to 9.30pm during the week and over weekends from 6am to 7pm.    For their class schedules check their website. 

Body Mechanix 2 blocks from Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse

For a smaller more personal gym try John Meyer above Cnr Café (2 and a half blocks from the guesthouse). In addition to the standard cardio and weights equipment, there’s also a full Pilates studio as well as access to health and wellness disciplines like biokinetics, physiotherapy, kinesiology and sports massage.  Speak to John on 082 342 3401 if you want to drop in as a casual visitor.  

And a third gym is a mere 2 blocks from the guesthouse ( I told you we are spoilt for choice).  BodyMechanix  is at  119 Buckingham Ave. Much like John Meyer it’s a smaller personalized gym with Pilates and ballet classes as well as private training sessions. 

Pilates and Yoga studios

Pilates4U Delta Centre Craighall Park

Pilates4U is a studio at one my favorite of places: Delta Centre. The outlook is stunning – floor to ceiling glass windows looking out on to an enclosed garden with tranquil greenery.  Pilates4U also offer one-on-one classes – ideal for those who want to drop in on once-off basis.  Two guests from the UK went for a duet Pilates session there and said it was a good workout and was blissfully restorative and peaceful. Made them feel “like new”!   And, although expensive in South African rands, for those paying in British pounds and compared to the equivalent in the UK, it is very reasonable. Check their website for the rates for individual classes). And even better, it’s a wellness-in-one centre, as there is also a physio, Sue Seddon (083 655 1069) as well as an Occupational Therapist, Natalie Powell who specializes in hand and arm injuries and complaints. 

Pilates Here at 373 Jan Smuts Ave offers a range of Pilates classes – both mat and equipment.  And what is really special about this studio is that they offer home classes. You can enjoy a personalized private Pilates session in the comfort of your room right here at the guesthouse. How amazing is that?  Check their website for rates 

In the nearby Colony Centre is an excellent yoga studio:  Living Yoga offers Jivamukti, Vinyasa and Yin yoga. More details on these styles of yoga  It’s also ideal for guests staying at Liz at Lancaster as they offer drop-in classes at R150 per session.   


A little further afield is Unchained Boxing and Fitness on 4th Avenue in neighbouring Parkhurst. Kelly, a regular guest from the US is a keen boxer-for-exercise person, so she is our reviewer. Her verdict is that staff at Unchained are excellent – professional, helpful and give a great workout. So put on your gloves and get sparring! 

Unchained Boxing and Fitness, Parkhurst

Outdoor activities 

The very first Park Run in South Africa was held at Delta Park in 2011. Started by Bruce Fordyce of Comrades fame, it has now grown to a field of over 1000 runners and walkers (some with dogs and children in push chairs) who meet at 8 am on a Saturday morning to embark on the 5km course. For more see Liz at Lancaster’s blog post

Park Run Delta Park every Saturday morning

And finally … there is a branch of  Run/WalkforLife which meets for three sessions a week (Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings) at the Craighall Primary School around the corner from Liz at Lancaster. Following  pre-marked routes, under the supervision of road leaders, this is ideal for those who do not want to walk on their own.  From their website: 

Run/Walk For Life was set up to cater for this huge group of people – those who are currently a little out of shape, want to get fit and shed a few kilograms, but feel uncomfortable or intimidated by joining their local gym or running club. 

So that is a good way to set the tone for 2020.  Now I need to move from my desk to the road, the park, the gym ….. which shall it be? 

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