As scary as the ‘Heathrow Injection’ 💉😱 sounds, thankfully it doesn’t involve anything sharp – quite the opposite. ‘Extra padding’ is something most London newcomers experience after they’ve settled in.
Picture the scene: a summer-like period fades into long dark days, ramping up the desire for nights in with a growing pile of takeout boxes on the kitchen bench 🥡
If, like me, you’ve traded climates 🏖️🛬🌬️ you might also adopt the after work pub culture and comfort food on the menu (mmm, fish ‘n’ chips) as you adjust to your first UK winter.
It’s not all doom and gloom! London is a thriving city and there’s always things to see, try and do – you just need to find what works for you 🤩
Walk to work
You’ve heard this one a thousand times, and it sounds almost too easy – but have you actually done it? You might discover a new coffee haunt or local boutique on the way, or someplace to come back and check out at the weekend.
If you’re crossing half the city on your regular commute then aim to get off a few stops early and walk the remaining journey 👟
⚠️ Spoiler alert: despite the drizzly reputation, it doesn’t rain all that often in London.
Shop the high street
Last Christmas, the ‘death of the High Street’ was all any media publisher broadcasted. Basically, online shopping is overtaking in-store shopping as our preferred purchase method 🛍️ While a great alternative for time-strapped people, it’s not so great for clocking up steps.
Pick a Tube station at random and guaranteed there’s an interesting local market in the vicinity. Ditch the cookiecutter handbag and hunt for something unique 👝
Get behind two wheels
London may be a bustling metropolis, but its streets are becoming increasingly bike friendly. There’s even cycling ‘super highways’ popping up all over town! 🚴♀️
Many workplaces have also adopted ‘cycle to work’ schemes – check if your company is already on board 👌
If you’re more of a leisure cyclist, take advantage of the UK’s longer daylight hours in summer (until 10pm!) and take a two-wheeled tour around your borough 🌳
Unless you live under a rock, you’d also have noticed Santander Cycles docking stations. Find out more 🚲
Prep your meals
With chains and meal deals (coupled with an active social life) competing to be your food choice, it’s no wonder we opt for convenience over effort. Sushi 🍣 might seem healthy but did you know the rice is full of caster sugar? Not to mention it’s likely white rice, too.
Knowing exactly what you’re eating when you prepare it yourself puts you back in control – not only of its contents, but portion size as well ⚖️
Some of my favourite (and simplest) packed lunches for work are rice paper rolls, falafel wrap, chicken and avocado toastie, and soft tacos 😋
Join a fitness group
From CrossFit to circus, flamenco to kayaking, tai chi and more, there’s an abundance of fitness activities happening in every corner of London 💃 However, prices for anything specialised can make you question whether its worth the pounds (mind the pun).
If you’re after something that combines culture, socialising and fitness like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, then 3-4-1 sounds like a sweet deal! And if you’re after something more casual, the pricey gym membership might not be the best option 💸
Outside of solo runs and cycling, there’s a huge selection of free (or cheap) fitness MeetUp and Facebook groups. *Shameless plug* our Hiking Group is pretty cool! 👟
Up your Insta game
If chasing invisible monsters on Pokemon GO isn’t getting you out of the house like it used to, it might be about time to dust off that Instagram account? 🤳
If you Google ‘most instagrammable cities in the world’, chances are London will make the Top 10. Outside of its classic icons – think roundels, red double deckers and telephone boxes – there’s monuments, palaces, churches, extravagant eateries, historic pubs, quirky street and food art and more! 🎡
Some starting points for inspiration are: scenic walks along South Bank, eclectic markets in Camden and Shoreditch, stunning views at Greenwich, and colourful architecture in Chelsea and Notting Hill 🇬🇧
Curb your liquid calorie intake
London hosts incredible traditional pubs and riverside al fresco spots for blink-and-you-missed-it summer, but there’s a reason a pint or two leaves you feeling full 🍻 I’m not suggesting anything drastic, just to watch your intake. The NHS has a helpful guide on their website🍷
And then there’s a host of chains offering sweet-tastic drinks – think: bubble tea and smoothies that are more ice-cream than fruit – and sugar-loaded ‘coffee’ frappuccinos with all the latest flavours 🥤
If you need that flavour hit, try mixing your own sparkling fruit juice with soda water and 100% fruit extract, adding mint leaves to a jug of water or swapping coffee for herbal tea 🍵