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Whatever the weather, London is a great place to keep active. It’s one of the more foot-friendly cities, and its expansive parks and cycleways make it even easier to maintain a wholesome lifestyle.
We recently asked our readers for advice on how to stay healthy when travelling to London on business.
From favoured running routes to gym classes, here are some of your best suggestions.
Take to the Thames
Depending on the time of year, running is the best option for London. The city has numerous parks, plus there are relatively few issues with light or traffic if you stay near the river. If jet lag or work means that you are up at night, head towards the river. From Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge there are three miles of well-lit paths close to the river, and multiple options for your run length. If you are travelling in the summer, then the river is still a good option, but a loop involving Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green and St James’s Park is particularly attractive. If you are stuck for time and more northerly in the city, loops and paths within Regent’s Park will keep you occupied for long enough! — Neil Tween, accountant, Cambridge, UK
Gym and tonic
I consistently use hotels like the Paddington Hilton that have excellent gyms; and, where possible, I don’t start meetings before 9am — Lawrence Lamb, biopharmaceutical, New York City, US
Take away the aches
Third Space Sports Medical is the go-to place for any level of athlete looking for respite, treatment, a massage or technical help to keep their body going. These are the best professionals in London for anyone young, old, super-fit or just looking to feel better. The team includes osteopaths, physios and sports medics within high-end clubs in central London — Simon Scott, trader, London, UK
Sweat it out
Nothing will get your energy levels back up after alcohol and fatty dinners like vigorous exercise. Various gyms in London offer a pay-as-you-go option, which means travellers can purchase single classes. My favourite gym is Frame, which has locations across the city, a really happy and upbeat atmosphere and classes that will make you sweat — Sofia Eng, energy, Oslo, Norway
London is a great place to run. While most London runs tend to circulate around the Thames between Chelsea and Tower bridges, head west for a more peaceful run. West of Chelsea Bridge, one can run the length of Battersea Park, head further towards Wandsworth and Putney, push forth to Hammersmith Bridge and on to Chiswick Bridge and Kew, finally pulling into Richmond. Instead of buildings and traffic, this route takes you past a few residential towers, but also through parks inhabited by squirrels and parakeets, dirt paths cutting through the greenery and beautiful bridges including an old rail bridge near Mortlake. From Richmond, consider taking the Tube back, unless one wants to complete a marathon.
Everything is about balance, so finish off not with a salad or muesli but a good old-fashioned fry-up (English breakfast). Breakfast at The Wolesley comes to mind — Bryan Goh, investment banker, Singapore
Two wheels good, two legs better
Cycling using the various bike apps or simply walking is often as quick as public transport or taxis. London is quickly becoming a great city for cyclists, with its Cycleways. But there’s no better way to get to know the city than by walking, especially if you get off the busy roads. The Thames Path takes walkers along the banks of the river that made London a city in the first place, and the parks and canals offer other pedestrian-friendly routes through the capital — William Schomberg, journalist, London, UK
Head for the Ned
Stay at The Ned. There’s a great gym that’s available to hotel guests and members, and includes a pool. It also has a fantastic choice of restaurants, whatever the meal, whether you want to stay healthy or treat yourself if you have done the healthy part in other ways — Adam Tyrrell, accountant, London, UK
The early bird gets the best run
London is a lovely place to run. Try to stick to a park or the river, away from the polluted roads. The best time to run through the South Bank and other pedestrian ways is before 8am, before the tourists — Laurie Mercer, solutions engineer, London, UK
Take a spin
A useful tip for business travellers to London staying in Kensington is a pay-as-you-go TRX and spin studio, Body Machine Performance Studio, on Kensington High Street. The owner was a top spin instructor in the US. The space is exceptional but not so well known — Peter Whelan, financial adviser, London, UK and eastern Europe
I really struggle to stay on top of fitness when travelling. Hotel gyms get boring, and I always struggle to find a safe/interesting route when in a new city. I found an app called komoot, which I downloaded about five months ago. It has transformed my business travel. When I land, it gives me a selection of routes to try, based on criteria such as distance/time and some highlights I’d see on the route. This is really useful when I’m in a new city, and I’d strongly recommend it to any frequent travellers. It also pairs really nicely with Apple watches for navigation — Ben Thompson, director of business development, Bath, UK
Rise with the sun
I pick a hotel near Swiss Cottage Tube and have an early-morning walk or run around Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park. Sunrise from Primrose Hill is breathtaking. The Tube ride to central London is quick and easy, and the hotels are better value than right in the centre — Lindsey Rolfe, doctor in biotech company, Cambridge, UK
Follow @FTGlobetrotter on Instagram for insider tips to help you make the most of your work travel, from where to start your day with a picturesque run, to top places to book a business lunch and the best spots for a nightcap
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