My post holiday bootcamp with Parklives

‘When I went to have a tiny cheat, I would really think back to how hard I worked and thought, ‘It is not worth going to boot camp an extra week over one peanut butter cup’ – Marissa Jaret Winokur

With summer threatening to make an appearance in the North East of England any day now, what better time to get outside and enjoy some of the great open spaces the region has to offer?

Parklives along with Coca Cola have teamed up with local councils across the country to offer a wide range of fun activities right on your doorstep. And it’s not just your basic run of the mill bootcamps either (athough they are available). They have Nodric Walking (well it is cold enough!), Tennis, Zumba, Gold and Tai Chi to name just a few. And the best part of all? It’s all completely 100% free.

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Since I vowed back in January that one of my new years resolutions would not only be to spend more time outdoors AND try and get a little but fitter, I didn’t seem to have much excuse not to bite the bullet and sign up for a few sessions. After all, I have all winter (and most of spring and Autumn) spend in my regular windowless gym stuck in my usual exercise rut of crosstrainer/treadmill/token effort on some weights. Plus I’d just come back from a fortnight in Portugal eating and drinking anything and everything available.

The thought of pushing myself outside my workout comfort zone, trying something new, and possibly dare I say enjoying myself, was exciting to me. Buts also a little bit scary, so I herded up some (semi) willing guinea pigs to come along and keep me company….

Saturday 18th June – Ladies only Bootcamp – Gosforth Central Park 8.30am.

My name’s Helen and I’ve never done a bootcamp session before. I’ve also never been fully dressed and out the house before 8am on a Saturday morning before either so there are 2 new firsts already! I’ve never really fancied bootcamps in the past, not sure why, perhaps its purely a little bit of social anxiety mixed with the fact that I tend to go a shade of purple that could be deemed medically unsafe when I exercise, but I have some friends who swear by them, and they’re pretty fit (Steph, guinea pig number one being one of them).


While I wouldn’t say I was a complete bootcamp convert, I did really enjoy the session once I got into it. I was pleased Steph came along as most of the activities involved being in pairs however it was a really friendly bunch so I’m sure I would have gotten chatting to whoever I was paired with. I liked that it was broken down circuit training style which meant you weren’t really doing anything for longer than a minute or so, so it kept it interesting (I have a tendency to get bored, especially if it’s something I don’t normally do and haven’t quite gotten the hang of). There was also a really good range of different exercises so it did feel like a full body workout (lots of squats and tricep dips) – my thighs and my arms were both aching pretty significantly the next day!

I’m not entirely sure that it’s something I would do every weekend. Both Steph and I agreed that we go to the gym on a Saturday Morning as it is and aren’t then limited to 8.30am however I would definitely do it again if I felt I’d fallen off the wagon a bit and needed a bit of a push to get back into fitness again. I’ve always found that working out in front of other people always motivates you to work that extra bit harder so this was definitely the post holiday kick up the bum I needed!

I’m trying Active Cardio Tennis next week so stay tuned for how I get on with that!

This has been a collaborative post but all views are my own


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