With more and more of us jumping on the health wagon, the search is on to find more ways we can take care of ourselves properly and treat our bodies with the respect it deserves without having to give up our social lives and those life pleasures we’re all so fond of. Particularly when it comes to our most sacred Friday night out. After a long, tiring week at work we’ve earned the chance to let loose and enjoy ourselves haven’t we?! But the difference is now we’re choosing to unwind into the weekend in a much more health-conscious way. We like to call it #fitfridays! Welcome to the age of healthy hedonism where the pursuit of pleasure remains at the heart of what we do, but all with a healthier twist.
Friday night is now a much more adventurous affair, where the time to head to the pub for hours of drinking with friends seems almost old-fashioned. We still want to do all that naughty fun stuff – going out with our friends, dancing, drinking cocktails, eating at the latest street-food pop-ups – life’s about having a good time after all! But by throwing some more virtuous activities into the mix we can even out our more indulgent behaviours; a bit of healthier yin to the naughtier yang. Think a spin class with a live comedy performance followed by a well-earned glass of fizz, working-out in a nightclub (well almost), enjoying a wellness workshop or munching your way through a healthy supper club in your favourite studio.
So get your Friday night fired up, Hip and Healthy style with our pick of the best ways to let loose for the weekend.
Get hot and sweaty at the Fight Club meets Night Club that is KOBOX
If you want the taste of a nightclub but can’t afford the hangover the next day KOBOX could be your answer. Brought to you from ex-Barry’s Bootcamp officianado Shaun Collins, the studio offers high intensity boxing based classes in a sexy, booming, night-club setting for anyone who wants to let loose for an hour and have an awesome work-out. Each 60 minute class combines heavy bag boxing with high intensity strength training. You spend your time on the bag working with several different combinations jab-cross, hooks, uppercuts and then free-for-all flurry punching which involves hitting the bag as hard and fast as you can in a flurry for 45 seconds, 15 seconds rest over a few minutes. Which trust us is pretty knackering. But punching away on your own bag in the dark with disco lights flashing and a Night Club sound system booming in the background also results in a massively empowering feeling. Time off the bag is full-on too – jumping, lifting, bear-crawling, holding and pushing your way to the end of the class. This one is for everyone – first timers and seasoned athletes alike to let loose, clear your head, feel stronger, work-out some attitude and generally have an awesome time.
Enjoy a ‘retox’ at BOOM Cycle’s prosecco nights
Pumping beats with serious fat-burning power is what you’ll find at BOOM Cycle’s Friday Prosecco nights – the perfect balance between health and hedonism. Hop on a ride with a girlfriend to get your sweat on and earn that Prosecco! BOOM Cycle’s signature spin takes the lights down low with candles ignited to instantly transport you into a party atmosphere. Weights are added in to the mix to up the intensity and build on upper body strength and core. But with the thought of that delicious glass of prosecco waiting for you at the end you’ll have more than enough motivation to push on through and smash that spin class. BOOM Cycle’s, Hilary Gilbert says, “You don’t have to be a saint all the time to be healthy and you don’t have to be a maniac all the time to be a hedonist. We introduced prosecco Friday’s after our 6pm class because why not? You’ve worked hard, it’s Friday and who doesn’t like to have a cheeky drink on a Friday evening?’ We say that’s Friday night drinks now sorted.
Dine out at one of Transition Zone’s infamous healthy supper clubs
A mecca of health and fitness, this is one of Hip & Healthy’s favourite places to hang out. And that’s not just because of the high intensity classes. It’s because of the whole healthy picture you can get at the studio, which always has a calendar of exciting health events lined up. Recent suppers have seen healthy food names Punch Foods, Mighty Bee and consultant chef at Nama Lorena Loriato, cooking up various feasts for all to enjoy, from Indian Summer healing foods to a rehydrating coconut and raw menu. The food is always healthy and nutritious yet it never compromises on flavour, meaning your inner Friday night foodie can tuck in safe in the knowledge that what you’re eating is good for you! At every supper club, Transition Zone owner Claire Finlay also brings an educational element to the evening with a short Q & A and interactive discussion about the food behind the menu and its particular health benefits. You’ll leave feeling inspired and clued-up on new ways to cook and eat healthily, and you may have even made a couple of new health-conscious friends along the way.
Get your disco fix at Disco Barre
Friday night is a prime disco night for most of us. And now you can smugly tell your friends you hit up the disco last night courtesy of underground edgy Disco Barre – a ballet barre workout to disco, devised by Sophie Ritchie. With a setting so perfectly urban and cool with scaffolding poles used for the barre, Disco barre was launched in January 2014 and ran once every Friday evening as a pre-party class or alternative to going out to party to get your music hit. Luckily for us the classes have now grown to 7 times a week. Sophie refreshingly tells us that ‘The concept came to me after a few wines!’ listening to the track ‘Work That Body’ by Taana Gardner. The workout consists of barre choreography matched to classic house, soul, boogie and funk and the great news is you don’t need any dance experience to get involved. You’ll start with a warm-up to a fast paced traditional disco track (think old-school Jamie Lee Curtis in ‘Perfect’ 80’s aerobic dance class). Then it’s straight to the barre to work with weights, resistance bands, Pilates, medicine balls and your body weight followed by a killer ab section on mats. The cool-down is a chance to embrace your inner disco diva for a dramatic 80’s style dance to end the session.
www.discobarre.com – find it at Barbers Gym, The Refinery E9, Pop Brixton and Blok London.
Enjoy a live performance at 1Rebel
A live music performance or trip to the theatre is a great way to spend a Friday night. Luckily for us 1Rebel offers a way to indulge this craving, bringing a heightened experience to working-out with their brilliant live performances at their signature Ride and Rumble classes. With the characteristic low lighting, strobe effects and booming beats all adding to the experience, the live music and performances range across live orchestras, drummers, saxophonists, DJ’s and garage MC’s. And now their latest offering now comes in the form of a live stand-up comedy performance in their signature Ride class. Amongst the fast and furious pedalling and weights work, you’ll find yourself exploding with laughter at the flurry of jokes coming at you from the live comedian. Having a giggle whilst working up a sweat sounds strange but the reality makes for a super fun, endorphin-fuelled Friday night out that doubles as the most intense core work-out you may ever have!
Hone your yogi skills at the Life Centre
The ‘friendly haven where yoga, Pilates and natural therapies inspire wellbeing’ that is the Life Centre, offer incredible work-shops on a Friday night and across the weekend to build on your yoga practise and mindfulness skills. Ranging from the fundamentals of Thai massage, flying therapeutics, the art of yoga, balance to meditation and relaxation these workshops are a great way to bring a bit of zen to your Friday night. Most recently the Life Centre Islington hosted a Yin Yoga practise by the glow of candle light with pranayama, Yin Yoga and meditation to re-awaken the connection with body and mind and lift the worries of the week away. A nice little Friday urban retreat where you’ll come away feeling rejuvenated and ready to enjoy the weekend.
Dance like Beyoncé with Seen on the screen
If for you, Friday night means putting on your dancing shoes, then Seen on the Screen is a fun, healthy alternative to the usual dance club experience. Learn how to dance like Beyoncé – or whomever else your latest dance crush may be – with a complete routine laid out to you by one of the talented dance instructors in these 60-120 minute classes. By the end of class you’ll be rocking it like Queen Bey herself. Classes range from Diva (Beyonce), Hip-Pop (Rihanna), Steamy Sundays (ultra-feminine songs to maximise your girl power think Ariana Grande’s ‘Dangerous Woman’, SOS Stilettos (the all-important lesson – how to dance in heels) and our favourite the Twerkshop amongst others. Workshops are longer and themed according to a particular artist, song or style like the Beyoncé Sass Session. For die-hard fans there are also various Masterclasses lasting a full 120 mins, which run through a full breakdown of a song or medley. Our pick is the Britney Dance Break Special (Overprotected/Toxic/BOYS), which will take you straight back to 90s. And if you’re worried about your questionable co-ordination or dancing skills don’t be! The vibe is totally welcoming and those who go are a mix of pros and complete beginners. This is a great one to do with friends where you’ll tone up, have a laugh and get your dancing fix. Plus the next time you’re actually in a club you’ll have some new moves to rock-out on the dance floor.
By Sophie Heywood
I: @Sheywood90s T:@Sheywoods