Once again Polina Liu – local and a personal trainer – introduces ways to stay fit and healthy round here – this time on the water!
Not many postcodes in London are positioned as well as we are, right by the Thames and in walking distance to the historical centre of London. People come from all over the world to see Tower Bridge and walk along the river, admiring the merging of Rotherhithe’s heritage with the ultra modern views of Canary Wharf. And how many postcodes have a local watersports centre with access to the docks and the river itself?
“…It’s exciting, brings the family together, and best of all, tires the kids out!…”
Each September, the Totally Thames Festival brings attention to all things Thames-related, be they art, food or family activities. This year, our Fusion Lifestyle Surrey Docks Watersports Centre ran free taster sessions for people to try out their water activities: sailing, kayaking, powerboating, windsurfing, canoeing or paddle boarding.
A healthy choice
Water sports bring many health benefits. Being on water can help both the body and soul – the soothing, meditative effect of listening to the waves is multiplied manyfold by feeling the water carrying you and magnified by the fresh breeze. Sailing, rowing, windsurfing, kayaking all require you to move by pulling, hoisting and maneuvering which help you develop not only your muscle strength and endurance but also your motor skills: agility, coordination and balance.
Watersports are great for cardiovascular fitness too. Rowing – one the best full body exercises working upper and lower body – is often part of an effective, time-saving training programme as it combines resistance and interval training. In sailing and windsurfing, you use your whole body to control the sail and work with the wind.
“…The regular courses held at the Watersports Centre can be cheaper than three months membership at the typical gym….
All over workout
Michael Shaw, one of the instructors at the Watersports Centre first tried kayaking as a member of the Scouts. The experience stayed with him and now he shares his skills with others.
“Many people don’t realise it’s a great way to keep fit,” he says. “It’s not just the main muscles. Your core muscles work constantly in any of the water activities. To keep balance, your core muscles tense up instinctively; you just don’t notice it straight away, sailing up and down the river is too much fun! But you can really feel it afterwards.”
“…And no, you do not need to own a boat! Once you have completed the course, you can join the club as a member and use the boats and other equipment…
Taking it global
Not only is sailing great exercise but it’s a great skill to practice – one that lasts a lifetime. Completing a short course provides you with an international license, so you can enjoy being on the water not only in the UK but anywhere in the world. And no, you do not need to own a boat! Once you have completed the course, you can join the club as a member and use the boats and other equipment.
Femi Omotosho – chief instructor at the Surrey Docks Watersports Centre – explained that water sports are becoming increasingly popular. More and more people choose holidays with activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family and sports like windsurfing and sailing fit the bill perfectly. It’s exciting, brings the family together, and best of all, tires the kids out!
“…[water sports] help you develop not only your muscle strength and endurance but also your motor skills: agility, coordination and balance…”
Not too expensive
And it’s surprisingly affordable too! You don’t have to be Roman Abramovich, swanning about in his mega yacht. The regular courses held at the Watersports Centre can be cheaper than three months membership at the typical gym.
The kids will love it. During school holidays, the Surrey Docks Centre run courses for children. It’s a great activity and opens up a new door for the young ones looking for growth, development and activity.
So if you are looking for a new activity for yourself or to enjoy with your family, give Surrey Docks Watersports Centre a call and try it out.
T: 0844 893 3888 (Calls cost your caller’s access charge + 4p per min service charge)
Rope Street (off Plough Way) Greenland Dock SE16 7SX
Surrey Docks Watersport Centre is run by the social enterprise Fusion Lifestyle on behalf of the London Borough of Southwark