Plan to Be Active for World Health Day

On 7 April, people all over the globe celebrate World Health Day, but if puffed rice cakes have taught us anything, it’s that healthy doesn’t always equal fun.

But there are plenty of ways to have a blast while burning that unwanted bulk.  That’s why The Activity People have put our heads together to produce a list of activities guaranteed to make both you and your ticker exceedingly happy.

1. Combat Sports

You don’t have to fighting fit to play paintball, airsoft or laser combat. They’re fun sports that are accessible to the majority of people. But the best thing about combat sports is you’ll be getting a nice little workout without even realising it. While you’re busy playing soldier and dodging enemy fire, you’ll benefit from a great cardio workout. Plus with so much emphasis on planning and strategy you’ll be training your brain too.

2. Water Sports

For full body fitness mixed with pure exhilaration our range of water sports experiences are hard to beat. Choose from surfing, wakeboarding, wind surfing and many more. Water sports promote balance, skill and general fitness. You’re guaranteed to have a blast and flex those muscles (not least when climbing back on the board every time you fall off).

3. Climbing Sports


Like water sports, climbing will work all of your major muscle groups as well as some you might not have known were there. The Activity People offers indoor, outdoor and high rope climbing experiences all over the UK. Whether testing yourself against a purpose built climbing wall or a rocky cliff face overlooking spectacular views of the country, you’ll be flexing body and mind as you navigate your way to the peak.

These are just a few of the awesome activities you could get stuck into with the UK’s number 1 activity provider. For a list of all of the sports we offer and facilities nationwide which offer them, just visit our official site.

Adrenalin Activity Passport

Why give someone one adrenalin-fuelled activity gift experience, when you can give the THE LOT!.

Yes, new from the UK’s biggest Activity network, comes the Activity Passport This clever little gift gives the lucky recipient access to 882 activity locations in the UK – yep 882!

So, which one of your friends or family will wake up to the best gift ever on their birthday of Christmas morning. You choose – but make sure you get it right – click here

The company has been around for 15 years and is the chosen activity provider for Visit Britain, Go Outdoors and many of the companies that provide activities under their own brand. So go direct and buy into the best adrenalin activity gift voucher experience in the UK.

Activity Passport – the gateway to activity heaven

Pancake Day

Another year, another day of failed flips, batty ingredients and lovely sugary silliness.

That’s right, it’s Pancake Day people.

It’s the time that we hurriedly whip up these brilliantly simple little treats, then stuff our faces with them until we’re ready to hang up the pancake mix for another calender year.

The Activity People will be frenziedly frying up plenty of the globular goodies, because all of the awesome adrenaline and adventure sports actions makes us pretty hungry. But we don’t want you guys to miss out on all the fun, so here’s a selection of recipes for perfect pancakes. There’s something for everybody here.

Enjoy! And try not to make a mess.

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Classic Pancakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose white flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Preheat pancake griddle to medium heat, or about 320 degrees.

Whisk together dry ingredients in medium bowl.

Whisk together liquid ingredients in another bowl.

Whisk liquid into dry, just till combined.

Pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle. Let cook till bubbles appear, then flip and cook a minute or two longer, until golden.

Pineapple Upside-Down Pancakes

Drain can of pineapple rings, reserving some of the liquid to replace liquid in your pancake recipe. Set a pineapple ring on the heated griddle. Place a maraschino cherry in the center of the ring, then ladle about 1/4 cup of pancake batter on the fruit and cook as directed.

Almond Pancakes

Substitute 1 teaspoon almond extract for vanilla.

Banana Nutmeg Pancakes

Stir in 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg with dry ingredients. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional). Once the pancake batter is poured onto the griddle, drop on small sliced pieces of banana and continue cooking as usual.

Blueberry Pancakes

Gently stir about 1 cup of frozen blueberries into the batter.

Choc Chip Pancakes

Simply sprinkle mini chocolate chips on the uncooked side of each pancake; continue cooking as usual.

Corn Pancakes

Substitute 1/2 cup cornmeal for flour. Stir in a cup of frozen corn kernels into batter. Add some chili powder and drained, chopped green chilies.

Eggnog Pancakes

Substitute eggnog for the milk, and add a dash of ground nutmeg to dry ingredients.

Gingerbread Pancakes

Stir following spices into dry ingredients: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. Substitute 4 tablespoons of molasses for the sugar in your usual recipe, but be sure to add it to the wet ingredients.

Ginger Pancakes

Stir 1 teaspoon dry ginger into dry ingredients. Sprinkle finely chopped crystallized ginger over uncooked side of each pancake and continue cooking as usual.

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Stir 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and 2 teaspoons poppy seeds into dry ingredients. Can also substitute 1/4 cup lemon juice for some of the liquid in the recipe.

Orange Cardamom Pancakes

Stir 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest and 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom into dry ingredients. Can also substitute 1/4 cup orange juice for some of the liquid in the recipe.

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat a non-stick griddle to medium heat.

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, microwave the buttermilk and milk to room temperature, about 20 seconds. Whisk in egg, butter, and vanilla. Add wet mixture to dry and whisk just until combined. (If batter becomes too thick, stir in a tablespoon or two of milk or water.)

Pour batter by about 1/3 cup-fulls onto heated griddle. Cook 2-3 minutes, until bottoms are golden and tops begin bubbling. Flip pancakes and cook about one more minute, till golden.

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup fresh OR frozen blueberries
Note: If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw before adding to the batter.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix the eggs, milk, sour cream, and butter. Stir into dry ingredients just till moistened. Fold in the blueberries gently.

Pour batter by 1/3 cupful onto a prepared griddle. Turn when bubbles appear. Cook till golden brown. Serve with Blueberry Sauce (see recipe below).

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes

1 1/4 rolled oats

1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

In large mixing bowl, whisk together the first five ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together egg, brown sugar, oil, milk, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix just till combined.

Pour by 1/3 cupfuls onto heated griddle. Turn when bubbles form and cook about 1 minute longer.

Granola Pancakes

1 1/3 cup prepared granola

1 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups sour cream OR plain or fruit yogurt of choice
2 eggs
1/4 cup cooking oil

Mix the first eight ingredients in a bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl. Combine the wet and dry and mix just till moistened. Batter will be lumpy.

Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto a preheated griddle. Let cook about a minute or two, till bubbles start to pop on the pancake surface. Flip and cook about one more minute.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Combine the first four ingredients in a small bowl. In another bowl, mix together the remaining four ingredients. Blend into dry ingredients just till combined.

Drop batter by 2 tablespoonfuls onto a prepared griddle. Cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side till golden brown.

Rolled Lemon Swedish Pancakes

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
8 eggs
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
whipped cream, for serving with

In a small bowl, mix the 1/2 cup sugar with the lemon peel; set aside.

In a bowl, combine flour, salt and remaining sugar. Beat eggs, milk and butter; mix well with dry ingredients. Pour batter by 1/2 cupfuls onto a prepared, hot griddle. Cook until set and golden brown. Turn and cook 1 minute more.

Immediately sprinkle each pancake with lemon sugar, then roll the pancakes up and keep them warm. Serve topped with whipped cream.

Bran Pancakes, or “BranCakes”

1 cup flour

1/2 cup wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
2 cups milk
(1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel, opt.)
1 cup bran cereal (such as All-Bran)

Stir together the first five ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat egg till foamy. Stir in orange peel and bran cereal. Let stand 2 minutes, to soften.

Add dry ingredients to cereal mixture and stir just till moistened.

Cook pancakes on a prepared skillet, turning once to brown both sides. Serve warm.

Cheesy Baked Puff Pancakes

6 eggs

1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup shredded cheddar or cheese of choice

Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add milk, flour, and salt. Stir till smooth. Pour melted butter into a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or till a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with cheese and serve!

Spinach Potato Pancakes

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 cups shredded zucchini
1 medium potato, peeled and shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg, beaten

In a bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Stir in egg and mix well.

Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot, greased griddle. Flatten with the back of a spatula, to form patties. Fry until golden brown. Flip and cook till second side is browned. Drain on paper towels.

Gluten-Free Pancakes

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Preheat pancake griddle to medium heat, or about 320 degrees.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

Whisk together the liquid ingredients in another bowl.

Whisk liquid into dry, just till combined.

Pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle. Let cook till bubbles appear, then flip and cook a minute or two longer, until golden.

Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup sour soy or rice milk
(simply add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to the “milk” and let it sit a few minutes)
3 teaspoons of dry egg replacer beaten with 4 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the first five ingredients in a bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl. Combine the wet and dry and mix just till moistened. Some lumps in the batter are okay.

Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto a preheated griddle. Let cook about two minutes, till bubbles start to pop on the pancake surface. Flip and cook about one more minute.

Allergen-Free Vegan Pancakes

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
(3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, opt.)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup rice milk
2 teaspoons egg-replacer, beaten with 4 tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar

Mix the first five ingredients in a bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl. Combine the wet and dry and mix just till moistened. Some lumps in the batter are okay.

Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto a preheated griddle. Let cook about two minutes, till bubbles start to pop on the pancake surface. Flip and cook about one more minute.

For even more pancake ideas, pancake tricks, pancake facts and even pancake merch, head over to pancakelovers.com

For a selection of adventure sports, perfect for post-pancake health and fitness, visit theactivitypeople.co.uk

It’s Official! Karting Can Make You More Successful!

You may have noticed an upturn in the fortunes of Premier League football club West Ham United over the past couple of weeks. But did you know that their improvement in form coincided directly with a team kart race and clay pigeon shoot?

Early in February, the relegation battlers were beaten at home by Birmingham City, before scraping a late draw against similarly relegation threatened West Bromwich Albion.

That’s when manager Avram Grant decided to introduce a brand new tactic; but not on the football field, on the kart track.

Grant took his underperforming athletes to enjoy a day of high speed karting followed by clay shooting. In his own words, the manager told The Telegraph “we decided to take the individuals to be as a team together”.

Since then the Hammers have picked up two very impressing victories, thumping Burnley in the FA Cup before doing exactly the same to an in form Liverpool in their last league game. It’s widely thought that their 3-1 demolition of Kenny Dalglish’s reds ranks as their best performance so far in the season, and Grant is in no doubt that the club’s rubber-burning, trigger-pumping day out has played a vital role in their sensational resurgence.

“It was good for the team. It was very successful. It was nice to see them enjoying themselves away from everything.”

Action-packed away days are a great way for any team or company to escape the rigours of their daily workload, and recharge their batteries so that when they return to work, they’re ready to give their best.

There isn’t a better way to turn your ‘individuals’ into a ‘team’.

Don’t believe us? Just ask the nearest West Ham fan.

If you’re interested in organising a lightning fast go kart grand prix, a spectacular clay pigeon shoot, an all guns blazing paintball war, a skydive or more, there are hundreds of options available through The Activity People, and you can find them all right here.

The Activity People’s Top 5 Movie Car Chases

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Throughout this week, The Activity People have been counting down their Top 5 Movie Car Chases via our Facebook page. We’ve chosen the ones that make us want to get behind the wheel and burn some rubber just like our cinematic heroes.

It was a tough decision to make, because there’re just so many great scenes to choose from, and plenty of epic, big screen wheel-spinners missed out all together.

There was no place on the list for the awesome Vanishing Point or Smokey and The Bandit. In The Bourne Supremacy, Matty Damon manages a riveting chase, despite crashing his car around fifty times, and it still didn’t make the list. They made two whole movies full of gas guzzling, car smashing action and called them both Gone In 60 Seconds, but neither could accelerate into our Top 5; nor could any of the brilliant Fast and Furious franchise.

The movies which race onto our Top 5 list are there because we think they embody all of the reasons that everybody loves a good car chase: the thunderous engine noise, the screaming tyres, the shiny bodies zipping through impressive locations and, of course, the trail of destruction they leave in their wake. And these cars are responsible for plenty of silver screen carnage.

So sit back, strap yourself in, and enjoy The Activity People’s Top 5 Movie Car Chases. Is your favourite on the list?

5. The Blues Brothers

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Jake and Elwood Blues are on a mission from God (apparently), and they’re not going to let anything stand in their way…not even a crowded shopping mall.

At the time of release, this movie held the record for most cars crashed. A total of 12 ‘Bluesmobiles’ were used throughout the film, including one built especially to fall apart.

To view the scene click here.

4. The Bourne Identity

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His Supremacy chase didn’t make the list, but a chase from this equally great movie did. The Italian Job might be a little more famous for hurtling through a grand European city in a Mini Cooper, but the live action driving in this flick really puts the beloved little car to the test.

The release of the film had to be rescheduled, after director Doug Liman ordered a series of re-shoots, including this riveting chase. We’re certainly glad he did.

To view the scene click here.

3. Bullitt

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The undisputed Daddy of the car chase and a title usually preceded by a Number 1 in lists of this nature, this exciting Steve McQueen vehicle only reached Number 3 in our list, but the iconic San Francisco streets and the unmistakable muscle car rumble will ensure that this movie lives forever in the annals of cinema history.

Director Peter Yates called for the chase to be shot at speeds of 75-80mph but the cars used managed insane speeds of over 110mph. Filming of the chase scene took more than three weeks and resulted in less than ten minutes of footage. But it’s great footage, indeed.

Two Ford Mustangs and Two Dodge Chargers were used to shoot the chase scene. All were expertly modified for high-speed chasing.  Both Chargers were junked after filming along with one of the Mustangs. McQueen attempted to purchase the remaining Ford many years later but the private owner refused to sell and to this day the car sits, un-driven, in a barn.

To view the scene click here.

2. The French Connection

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Another all time classic at Number 2. This time it’s Gene Hackman’s iconic portrayal of tough cop Popeye Doyle behind the wheel. He’s pushing the pedal to the metal in pursuit of the bad guys. The trouble is they’re not in a car. They’re in a runaway train speeding by on an overhead track.

Like Bullitt, no music accompanies the scene, though director William Friedkin edited the sequence to the tempo of Carlos Santana’s Black Magic Woman. The only sound we get during the movie is the harrowing noises of the carnage that unfolds.

The crash that takes place at the intersection of Stillwell Avenue and 86th Street was unplanned but included in the movie because of its realism. The man involved was driving to work, oblivious to the fact that the chase was being shot. Producers later paid bills for the car’s repairs.

To view the scene click here.

1. Ronin

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A gritty and intense, rocking roller coaster of a chase shot on location on the busy streets of Paris. Ronin mightn’t be the biggest movie name on the list, but with the unforgettable chase sequences director John Frankenheimer set out to create the textbook car scenes that all subsequent Hollywood speedsters would learn from and emulate. Everybody here at The Activity People thinks he definitely succeeded.

The film enlisted the crème de la crème of stunt drivers from all over the world, including former Formula 1 driver Jean-Pierre Jarier.

The chases in the movie are famous for being some of the most authentic ever committed to film, and one of the subtle tricks used to do this was a set of modified right-hand drive cars. In these impressive machines, the passenger side was made up to mirror the real controls. Robert De Niro and Natasha McElhone then mimicked the stunt drivers while the action played out.

To view the scene click here.

There you have it, The Activity People’s Top 5 Movie Car Chases in all their petrol powered glory. The films we can’t watch without wanting to leap behind the wheel and satisfy our own burning need for speed.

If you’re looking to burn some rubber, too, we offer a number of great activities that allow you to do so. Get behind the wheel in karting, rally driving and many more. They’re fast and fun adrenaline explosions, and they’re also perfectly safe.

Visit our website to find out more, then get out there and really floor it.

The History Of Karting

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The sport of Go karting or karting as it is more popularly referred too, has undergone some major changes since it’s inception in the USA as little more than feisty ride-on lawn mowers ridden by the odd amateur enthusiast.

Modern karts driven by the professionals of the sport can now reach speeds of around 160mph and are used as training for aspiring F1 world champions. Karting as a leisure activity made it way across the Atlantic into Europe during the swinging 60s and has steadily grown in popularity on this side of the pond ever since.

Karting’s origins in the USA

Art Ingels is generally accepted to be the father of karting. A veteran hot rodder and a race car builder at Kurtis Kraft, he built the first kart out of scrap metal and a surplus two-stroke cycle engine in his garage in Southern California in 1956, and his new invention immediately caught the imagination of an audience of a few hundred people when he tested it in the car park of Pasadena’s famous Rose Bowl.

In 1958, American outfit Go Kart Manufacturing Co became the first kart manufacturer, whilst another American company, McCulloch, was the first to produce engines for karts. Its first engine, the McCulloch MC-10, was an adapted chainsaw 2-stroke engine.

Karting quickly caught on, with karting facilities springing up in many towns and cities across the USA.

This initial widespread enthusiasm, however, lasted only until a lack of finances towards the end of the 1960s saw many of these facilities begin to disappear and karting become a much more select sport with only those who could afford it able to take part. Karting as a sport also suffered at this time from lacking a governing body, meaning it had no basis on which to develop a bona fide professional sport, so for decades was predominantly enjoyed on a recreational basis.

The shift to Europe

Unlike other motorsports with origins in the USA such as Demolition Derbies, Drag Racing or Stock Car Racing, karting and kart racing has succeeded in making the transition from the States to Europe, becoming a highly popular leisure activity as well as a key learning ground for professional drivers.

In the late 1960s, European engine manufacturers became more popular than their American counterparts. This trend continued into the 1970s as McCulloch, the leading American Go Kart engine manufacturer, was bought by Black and Decker, who had no interest in producing kart engines. It was during the 1970s that today’s modern Go Kart designs came into force. The engines were at the side, rather than at the back of the kart.

Karting becomes a sport for real

The creation of several regulatory bodies in the 1980s strengthened the idea of Go Karting being more than just a hobby. Karting had, for several decades, predominantly enjoyed on a recreational basis, but the introduction of regulatory bodies helped it to open up to people who wanted to get a good grounding in motor sports.

Though it is a relatively short one, the history of karting as an organised sport is extremely illustrious, to say the least. Karting has acted as a high-octane kindergarten for some of the greatest drivers in the history of modern motorsport. Senna. Prost. Schumacher. Alonso. Räikkönen. Button. Hamilton. All of them used competitive karting as their first stepping stone towards the eternal glories that F1 world championships bring with them.

Karting as a leisure activity

Kart racing is generally accepted as the most economic form of motorsport available. As a free-time activity, it can be performed by almost anybody, and as a motorsport in itself, it is one of the sports regulated by FIA (under the name of CIK), permitting licensed racing for anyone from the age of 8 onward.

Besides traditional kart racing, many commercial enterprises offer karts for rent, often called “recreational” or “concession” karts. The tracks can be indoor or outdoor. Karts are rented by sessions and use sturdy chassis complete with dedicated bodywork to provide driver safety. These karts also often contain limiters, which allow those running the circuit to slow down or even completely stop karts remotely if they feel that there might be any danger to drivers out on the track. Most of these enterprises use an ‘Arrive and Drive’ format which provide customers with all the safety gear (helmets, gloves and driver outfits) and allow them to show up any time to race at a reasonable price, without the hassle of owning one’s own equipment and gear.

Karting, then, has enjoyed a varied history, but has now firmly established itself as one of the most popular motorsports in the world.

Book your Karting Experience NOW.