Fancy a workout with a seasonal spin? Why not check out one of the many Halloween-themed fitness events available nationwide? There's something to suit every temperament and level of fitness, from Zombie evacuation runs to fancy dress dance-a-thons.
It can be difficult to keep up the motivation to sustain a fitness regime over time, especially at this dark time of year when most people's instincts turn towards hibernation and comfort food. So anything that will inject a bit of fun and novelty into looking after our health and kick-start our enthusiasm for getting active is more than welcome. On that note, how do you fancy a spooky Halloween workout? Read on to find out about opportunities near you to get scary, silly and fit.
Trick or Train at British Military Fitness
British Military Fitness is well known for its challenging outdoor fitness programme, backed up by over 14 years of experience and guaranteed to push you to new levels of fitness. They emphasise fun as well as hard work, and in keeping with this ethos they are offering Halloween-themed fitness classes all over the country. If you're in the capital, why not come along to Clapham Common, where the planned workout will include Bleeding Burpees, Headless Horsemen, Pumpkin Punisher, Witchcraft Wand Relay and Bobbing for Brains? Similar workouts are on offer nationwide on 31 October. Participants are encouraged to dress up and it's free for anyone trying out BMF for the first time.
Scare yourself fit with Les Mills
Experts in group fitness and team training, Les Mills is harnessing the fitness -boosting power of adrenalin by giving fitness enthusiasts a good scare this Halloween. How? Ghoulish instructors, atmospheric lighting, unnerving surroundings and frightening music. This isn't as mad as it sounds: An adrenalin rush will speed up your heart rate and increase blood flow (particularly to the muscles), as the fight-or-flight response is triggered. Put this into the context of a gruelling high-intensity interval training programme and you have an efficient, fun way of burning some calories and boosting your fitness. Classes are available all over the country from 28 October – 2 November.
Fancy spending the evening battling zombies? Wish.com is offering various zombie experiences. Venues vary from an abandoned shopping mall in Reading to an empty warehouse in London. You're briefed on arrival and equipped with “weapons” such as a rifle, blood balls and fake grenades. If you're a seasoned paintballer who thinks they've seen it all before, think again: The zombies you're battling are all trained fitness instructors (some of them from the military). You'll need all the strength and agility you can muster for this one, as well as pretty steady nerves. Zombie experiences start from around £79 for four hours and are available all over the country.
For those of slightly more delicate dispositions who don't particularly fancy being scared half to death, however good that might be to get the blood pumping, there's always the possibility of some fancy dress dancing. Popdance, a series of fitness dance programmes created to combine fitness and fun, is running dance-a-thons all over the country during the Halloween period. Children and adults are encouraged to get dressed up and strut their stuff to spooky tunes – think Murder on the Dance Floor...
This one is not for the fainthearted. The zombie evacuation run involves a 5 kilometre interactive race that will put your survival skills to the test. The role-playing element is taken pretty seriously – you can sign up in advance to be either an evacuee or a zombie. The rest is obvious: you're either running for your life through a forest infested with bloodthirsty zombies and littered with 20 obstacles, or you're chasing after the poor evacuees. Either way, it's an entirely novel way of going for a run.
Ok, we'll admit it. Most of these Halloween-inspired fitness events are really just a way of shaking up your usual workout routine. There is nothing about running from zombies per se that will provide a more challenging or effective workout than going for your usual run. But there is a lot to be said for the novelty factor. It will change how you approach your particular fitness activity and keep you on your toes physically and mentally. And yes, the adrenaline rush you get from being scared does have certain fitness-boosting effects, though it's entirely a matter of personal preference whether you enjoy a good fright enough to harness its heart-pumping effects for fitness purposes. If you're the type who still hides behind the sofa when Dr Who gets a bit intense, perhaps defending your life from bloodthirsty zombies isn't quite the way to go. But you could still do a bit of pumpkin-lifting or a fancy dress run... Go on, get into the Halloween spirit!