I’ve been attending expos regularly since I moved to London – the opportunity to meet brands in person, try hundreds of food samples and discover products I’d never imagined existed makes for a pretty perfect day out.
Whilst I was in foodie heaven, the lack of fitness-themed events meant my expo life was a little out of balance until Be:Fit London launched last year. Be:Fit is the UK’s only health and fitness festival for women and combines the traditional brand exhibitor format with free fitness classes, wellness talks, a Total Greek Yoghurt kitchen and much more. With talks by Olympians, nutritional assessments and even a luxury spa under one roof, the three day event has something to tempt even your most exercise-phobic friends.
I attended last year and was immediately blown away by the energy and excitement in the room, everyone from the brand ambassadors to workout instructors and even other visitors exuded an infectious passion and friendliness. I arrived alone but quickly found myself discussing favourite leggings with other activewear lovers and showing off my wildest dance moves with new-found friends in a Ravercise class.
I’m currently running an Instagram giveaway where you can win a pair of tickets – all you need to do is tag a fitness friend in my Instagram post, good luck! If you don’t win, tickets are still available on the Be:Fit London website – use code AF06 for a £2 discount on adult tickets, and tweet me @FitFoodEmma if you’re attending as I’d love to meet you.
1. Plan ahead
Book your ticket in advance to save money and queueing time, and note down the times of your must-see events (mine are Insanity with Tanya from London Insaniacs & Victoria Pendleton‘s interview). You can book a guaranteed space in a class or talk for just £1, which I’d really recommend doing as the queues last year were often 30 minutes or longer.
2. Prepare to sweat!
With 20 free classes on offer, Be:Fit is the perfect time to try something completely new without the usual £20+ commitment. The instructors tailor their workouts for complete beginners, so bring a positive attitude and get ready to laugh, dance and challenge yourself – nobody will care if you fall flat on your face trying a new yoga pose or resemble a freshly roasted beetroot after a HIIT session. The venue doesn’t have showers, so be sure to pack a towel, water and baby wipes if you plan to go round the exhibitor stalls after a class!
3. Talk to everyone!
Don’t worry about going alone, a huge number of ladies will be in the same boat. Strike up conversations about your favourite fitness clothes whilst you browse the activewear stands, motivate the person next to you in fitness classes and if you recognise someone from social media, definitely go and say hi! The health & fitness community is incredibly friendly and everyone is at Be:Fit because they’re passionate about wellness and female fitness so you know you’ll have lots in common.
4. Arrive hungry & try everything!
The exhibitors will have a myriad of samples and activities on offer, from the latest sweetener-free organic protein powder to spin leggings with secret crotch padding and a cancer-fighting mini silent disco! This is one event where allergies and intolerances are easily catered for, so take the plunge and try things you’ve never seen before as well as the products you’ve heard so much about (I’ll be heading straight to The Organic Protein Company (stand H6), BoomBoom Athletica (F60), Lucy Bee (N92) and Pip and Nut (N79)).
5. Share your experience
Tweet (#BeFitLondon), share photos on Instagram, tell your friends/family/colleagues/people you pass in the street… healthy eating and fitness can seem really intimidating if you don’t know where to start. Think back to when your wellbeing journey began and remember the misconceptions you harboured (I was convinced all health food was ludicrously expensive and that I’d be laughed at for attending fitness classes in H&M tops rather than designer workout gear!). You never know who you’ll inspire and you don’t need a professional blog to share your thoughts!