The benefits of getting outside to exercise are many. A sensible amount of sun exposure can help increase vitamin D levels, which are important for mineral absorption and bone health. Sunlight also helps to regulate serotonin levels, which are linked to happiness and wellbeing. If you get out and exercise in nature you may notice an improved sense of mental wellbeing as you enjoy a ‘mini-break’ away from office or city life.
It’s that time of the year when the days are starting to get lighter and warmer. As a result you might even feel like you’re just that little bit more motivated to get up and do an early morning fitness session, or simply get a bit more movement into your day in general.
This is going to be great news for your health and fitness results! With all that in mind we’ve come up with seven ideas to help inspire you to get in more outdoor fitness this summer.
Take your personal training sessions outside
If you normally meet your mobile personal trainer at home, why not suggest a local park or beach to meet at instead? For gym based personal training sessions there could also be a green space nearby that you could utilize. Even just a warm up or cooldown around the block could help to lift your spirits, especially if you’ve been working inside all day.
The spring and summer season is a great time of the year to enjoy some of the amazing hiking opportunities that the UK has to offer. And hiking itself can be a great way to improve your health and fitness levels! Take a day or weekend trip and check out hiking trails in the Peak District, Lakes District, Devon or Cornwall.
If you’re really keen you could tackle the National three peaks challenge, or the Yorkshire or Welsh versions. Enjoy some fitness, fun and adventure with a few friends. You can also raise money for charity at the same time, if you feel inclined.
Participate in a social sport
When was the last time you tried something new? Trying a new social summer team sport can be a great way to feel inspired, have some fun, and get fitter in the great outdoors this summer. Some of the outdoor social summer sports on offer in the UK include touch rugby, rounders, cricket and tennis.
Head for the water
Trying out a new water based fitness activity might be more appealing in the coming months than it is in the rest of the year in the UK! Ok, so you might still want to wear a wetsuit rather than just shorts or a bikini, but at least the temperature will be a little more bearable!
Depending on where you live, you could try out surfing, ocean swimming, rowing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, wakeboarding, water skiing or windsurfing.
Active catch ups with friends
Instead of meeting up for a coffee, why not arrange a walk, bike ride or swim with a friend? You can be social, active and enjoy the outdoors at the same time. And of course you can always go for that coffee afterwards!
Commute with your fitness in mind
In the winter months it’s sometimes easier to want to default to being inside. This can also be true for your preferred travel choices, where you might opt to take the bus, train or car because they keep you a little warmer and more sheltered.
Active commuter solutions
Now that warmer, sunnier weather is here (or coming soon!), consider how you’re getting to work. You may not be able to spend all day in the park when there’s work to be done, but could you walk, jog or bike all or part of your journey to and from work? The added bit of activity at the start and end of your work day can go a long way towards lifting your spirits.
If you normally ride on the train, tube or bus can you walk to the second stop and jump on there instead? And at the end of the day can you get off one stop early and walk the rest of the way? Could you cycle or skateboard part of or the entire journey? If you drive, can you park a little further away from work?
Join an outdoor group fitness class
Group fitness isn’t limited to gym and studio based classes. Check out what’s on offer in your area. It’s likely that there are a few outdoor options popping up this time of the year. You may be able to try anything from a bootcamp style session to a running or cycling group.
What are you going to do in order to get more outdoor fitness into your life this summer? You might even have suggestions to add to our list! Please share your thoughts on summer style outdoor fitness in the box below.