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London’s having a serious fitness moment


1Rebel brings new fitness cred to the London streets (oh hello, Gherkin!)
1Rebel brings new fitness cred to the London streets—with quite a view of the Gherkin. (Photo: 1Rebel)

After sleeping through the fitness craze for years, London has woken up in a big way. The momentum started with a crop of fitness studios popping up in the last year or so, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. In fact, the beginning of 2015 has already brought new openings all over the city.

“The demand for studios, restaurants, and stores that fuel a healthy lifestyle is finally here,” says Calgary Avansino, a London-based wellness expert and contributing editor at British Vogue. “British people are being educated on the power of healthy food and moving your body. And now that they understand it, they want to be a part of it,” she says. “This is just the beginning.”

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Here’s a look at seven new healthy hotspots that are wooing Londoners from happy hour at the pub to a sweaty power hour workout.

1. Barry’s Bootcamp is opening their second London location, “Barry’s East” in Finsbury Square, upping the odds of landing a treadmill and bench for the white-hot interval training workout.

2. On January 17, the city’s biggest barre franchise, Barrecore, launched their fifth London studio in Kensington, proving that the yummy mummies and even some royals can’t get enough curtsy lunges. They’re also debuting a new yoga-infused class, barreASANA, this week.

3. London just welcomed the 1Rebel spin-and-HIIT studio, offering both Rebel Ride spin classes and Rebel Reshape workouts, both set to DJ-curated playlists. Rebels founders are the duo behind gym chain, Jatomi Fitness, which has 70 locations. They plan to open another London location in the next few months.

4. Starting this week, Paola’s BodyBarre is bringing its super-trendy Pilates and ballet-inspired method to wellness destination Lomax Chelsea three times a week.

5. And because anyone would need more Groove pants and Wunder Unders for all these workouts, on January 23, Lululemon opened their second London store on King’s Road in Chelsea.

6. In December, Pure Taste became the first Paleo restaurant in the U.K., with a menu that changes monthly and is gluten-free. Most intriguing dish? The loaded-with-veggies root vegetable and mushroom “cobbler.”

7. Avansino is also getting into the mix, having just launched Purify, a line of cold-pressed juices at 50-some Itsu Sushi locations, throughout London. Blends include the 7 Veg, and the Purify Purple, filled with beetroot, cucumber, and tarragon.

And considering that SoulCycle says they’re on the hunt for the perfect spot for their first London location, it looks like this is just the beginning of the biggest wellness year the city’s ever seen. Now we’ll wait to see which studio Kate’s been spotted leaving and let the paparazzi fan the fitness flames… —Brittany Burke

(Photos from top, Barry’s photo: Barry’s Bootcamp Instagram; Barrecore photo: Barrecore; 1Rebel photo: 1Rebel; Paola’s Body Barre photo: @amberlebonofficial Instagram; Lululemon photo: Lululemon Instagram)