Temperatures are rising and it’s tempting to be outdoors as much as possible, so maybe you don’t like being locked up in the gym and would rather train outdoors during the warmer months.
“There has been a lot of research into outdoor exercise, and studies have shown that outdoor training lowers a person’s blood pressure and heart rate,” says personal trainer Luke Hughes, co-founder of OriGym ( origympersonaltrainercourses.co.uk). “This, then, makes exercising outdoors less strenuous than the equivalent indoor exercise might seem, which means you are able to push yourself harder and thus potentially achieve more.”
But what’s the best way to do it? We asked fitness professionals what they recommend, so you can get the most out of both your workout and warmer climates …
1. Check your local parkrun
You can jump into parkrun fun in over 750 locations and it’s free.
Over two million people have completed parkruns and with all levels of experience are welcome, it’s a great way to work on your fitness and be outdoors, challenging yourself and being part of a friendly community.
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“Parkrun is a great way to add consistency to your routine by having a set schedule each week, plus the community can be a great way to have a sustainable exercise period,” says personal trainer Tirrel Grant. “The events are playful, which adds further motivation for wanting to improve their time or even beat others.”
And as Grant explains: “Cardio is beneficial for cardiovascular health. This can also have a positive impact on stress, sleep, blood pressure and other health indicators.”
2. Check out the local outdoor classes
Hughes says “outdoor bootcamps and fitness classes are a great way to stay active and make connections with like-minded people, who will all share your passion for a specific style or training routine” – and there are plenty of them to be found across the country, be it HIIT classes, yoga or bootcamps.
“Ultimately, bootcamps are considered one of the best fitness classes because they unite customers with a single goal. So if you want to meet and interact with like-minded people, it’s a great process,” adds Hughes.
Perhaps a more expensive option, but certainly relaxing, many parks host yoga classes, and even more exciting, in some cities you can try yoga on a rooftop, to really get the most out of the sun.
3. Swim outside
Whether it’s your local lido or a wilder experience, swimming has become a popular choice for fitness, particularly during the pandemic, when all of us were most desperate to get outdoors (in fact, reportedly , there was a 323% increase in people ‘wild swimming).
Grant states that “swimming is fantastic, as you can improve cardiovascular health and the exercise is low impact. Swimming is good if you are recovering from an injury and exercise like running hurts your back or knees. “, he adds. “You can improve your overall fitness levels by swimming regularly.”
4. Use what is already there
According to Hughes, you can “make the most of nature’s apparatus or use the equipment in your local park to create unique and interesting outdoor workouts. This will not only save you some money, but can also confuse your own. workout and make it fun and challenging in different ways. “
The simpler equipment might be useful. “The humble park bench can be used to perform many different exercises. Like the benches you find in the gym, you can do tricep dips, incline or declined push-ups, squats, box jumps and Bulgarian split squats,” he suggests.
“A fun way to incorporate swings into your outdoor training is to treat them as if they were a Swiss ball. For example, you could do push-ups, glute bridges, jack-knives, roll-outs, knee tucks and hamstring curls,” adds Hughes. .
And for an amazing upper body session, head to the monkey bars. “Bring your inner child out and jump on the monkey bars at your local park. Some exercises you can do with the monkey bars include pull-ups, hanging leg raises, and hanging abdominals.”
5. Take a hike
Hughes is also a fan of hiking – a really great way to get out in the country and get your blood pumping. “The hiking sessions are ideal for those who have a little more time on their hands and would prefer a more scenic daily workout,” he says.
And it has great health benefits. “When walking on a flat surface, only 20% of the muscle tissue in the leg is used, but one of the benefits of walking on uneven ground is that it involves many more muscle groups throughout the lower body,” explains Hughes. “When walking on a slope, the calories burned are significantly greater than the average expectation for walking on level ground.”
6. Join a running club
Do you find running intimidating by itself? Joining a running club could give that extra boost of motivation and clubs are bound to get busier in the summer as the weather improves.
Flo Seabright, founder of Fit by Flo (fitbyflo.com), runs a weekly running club and says there are a number of benefits. “We love our running club because it offers an amazing opportunity for us to come together as a community and take on a new challenge as a team,” she explains.
“Motivating yourself to go out for a run can be difficult at best, but as part of a group, everyone, regardless of their individual abilities, can be involved in something new in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.”
Check out the local community pages to find a running club near you.