Ten mood-boosting activities including outdoor swimming, ice baths, and puppy yoga
IT'S peak getaway season but if like us, you're going nowhere this August, don't get despondent. We've got 10 ways to liven up your month in Manchester, and none of them involves losing the will to live in a three-hour queue at the airport.
Instead, get busy closer to home with feel-good activities like free horse-riding in Wythenshawe Park or an evening 5K race at Heaton Park. If sunny days make you want to seek out the nearest body of water, we've got two options for safe outdoor swimming plus the ultimate cool-down: an ice bath immersion.
Add to that a new city centre running club, yoga with cute lil puppy dogs, and a boxing gym that lets you measure how hard you can punch, and you'll be wondering why anyone bothers going on holiday when there's so much cool stuff happening right here.
Here's our round-up of healthy things to do this August.
The Wythenshawe Games | various locations, Wythenshawe | 29 July-17 August
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Wythenshawe Games and while lots of the activities are for youngsters, there are free bookable sessions for adults too. Try horse-riding, kick-boxing, tennis, tai chi, golf, and muay Thai. Or take part in the 10K run. The celebrations centre around three mini-festivals in Wythenshawe's parks with climbing walls, archery, softball, dodgeball, American football and more. Go along and beat the kids at their own game(s).
Puppy Yoga | Deansgate, city centre | 6 August
The collective "ommm" is more likely to be a collective "awww" at this new class in the city centre. It's an hour-long session of yoga and cuddles with one of the cutest batches of pups around. They all come from trusted breeders and loving homes (so no you can't smuggle one out in your gym bag). The session's exact location will be released nearer the time. £35.
Dynamic breathwork and ice baths | Whitworth Locke, city centre | 6-7 August
Here's a chance to try Wim Hof-style breathwork and cold water immersion without having to schlep your way to a glacial lake (or Sale Water Park for that matter). The Breath Connection team will bring their ice baths to Whitworth Locke aparthotel for two three-hour sessions of dynamic breathwork and mindful immersion into bitterly cold water. If you're wondering why on earth you'd want to do that, read our article about cold water immersion. In short, it has loads of health benefits including reducing anxiety and boosting immunity. £30 or free for guests at Whitworth Locke.
Chase the Sun 5K and 10K at Heaton Park | Heaton Park, North Manchester | 10 August
Race the setting sun at Heaton Park with this Wednesday evening event organised by Run Through. The route takes you right round the park - do it once for the 5K or double it for the 10K. There's also a ten-mile option if you're feeling particularly sprightly. Entry fee includes refreshments, chip-timing, official photographs, and a Heaton Park-themed medal. £24.
Shake The Dust | Hot Lotus Wellbeing Hub, Stockport | 13 August
Yoga teacher Jenny Roche is leading this two-hour session of movement medicine at Hot Lotus in Stockport. Combining shaking, jumping, dancing, intuitive moment, yoga, pilates, somatics and bodyweight training, it's a dynamic workout that'll appeal to anyone who likes to get in their body and out of their thoughts for a while. A kick-ass, curated playlist will help get you in the mood. Go to "Courses" on the class timetable to book. £25.
Keep On Keeping On Running Club | Spinningfields, city centre | Tuesdays
Keep On Keeping On (KOKO) running club is an all-abilities, inclusive running club established in the wake of the pandemic to provide a social running space to improve mental health. Founder Jimi Harrison set up the club in light of his own experiences of mental health and loneliness, wanting to create a welcoming environment for people to enjoy the benefits of running without the pressure of so-called serious running clubs. Comfortably-paced, 5K runs take place on Tuesday evenings at 6.30pm, starting and finishing outside The Lawn Club in Spinningfields. Look out for special events in the coming months. Free.
U-Swim at Salford Quays | Dock 9, Salford Quays | Wednesdays and Saturdays
Want to go outdoor swimming in Manchester city centre? Your best (and safest) option is to head to Dock 9 at Salford Quays for these twice-weekly sessions organised by U-Swim Open Water. The water quality is tested and treated, and there are safety teams on stand-by. Sessions are held on Wednesdays at 5.30pm-7.30pm, and Saturdays at 8am-11am. Pre-book (£7) with a £12.50 Bronze membership, or turn up and pay on the day (£10).
Boxing classes at Corner HQ | Hoyle Street, Manchester | Open daily
Want to know how hard and how fast you punch? A new high-tech boxing gym has opened near Escape to Freight Island which lets you measure and compare your punch output using wrist-worn trackers. You can book onto early morning and evening classes during the week, and take part in sparring sessions on Sundays. Their gym space and boxing ring is also available for individual training. Professional boxer Marvin Tomlinson is the head trainer at Corner HQ so you're in good hands. £15. First class is free.
New spa at King Street Townhouse | King Street, city centre | Open daily
If you’re a fan of spa-days, here’s a new place to go without having to travel out of the city. Luxury hotel King Street Townhouse has just opened a brand new spa featuring a thermal suite, four treatment rooms, a Himalayan salt cave and a spa lounge. Treatments are by ESPA and Perricone MD. There's an Afternoon Tea with Perricone MD event on 13 August if you’re curious about this beauty and skincare brand.
Hathersage Swimming Pool | Hathersage, Peak District| Open daily
Catch the train from Piccadilly to Hathersage in the Peak District for a dip in their heated open-air pool with views of the hills. They run lane swimming and family-friendly sessions every day, and every third Friday of the month, there's a 'Night Swim' with live music from the bandstand. It gets busy during the summer holidays so book in advance. Bookings open every Friday at 7am for sessions the following week. Adults £7, kids £4.
Main image: Paw Yoga
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