Exercise can be as simple as walking to the shop, running, lifting weights, doing a HIIT workout, or a Tabata. When it comes to exercise, the list is very much endless. But as the UK has been in multiple lockdowns since the start of the pandemic, finding the inspiration to exercise can be difficult, especially when all of the gyms and sporting venues are closed. And, of course, in Great British weather style, in the winter months we are hit with rain, more rain and even a bit of snow and ice, making it difficult to decide what type of outdoor activity to do. Read on for some inspiration of the best 5 ways to exercise outdoors, no matter the weather.
5 ways to exercise outdoors
If we had fantastic snowy weather, we could easily go skiing or snowboarding as this is a great way to exercise outdoors without actually realising it. Alternatively, if we were graced with fantastic outdoor waters (that are suitable for swimming in, of-course) we could easily go for a swim. The great thing about swimming is that you often don’t feel like you’ve just done a long and hard workout but swimming is great for your body and you’ll feel extra amazing as the water can be very refreshing and calming.
But as outdoor weather and outdoor surroundings impact the type of outdoor activities you can participate in, we’ve come up with our top 5 ways to exercise outdoors. Check them out below:
Hiking and walking
Utilise a park bench for exercising
Running, you either love it or hate it, but it definitely is all in the mindset. As a great all year round activity, except for in the icy winter months, running gets your heart rate up and is a fantastic form of cardio exercise.
However, you need to make sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather. Try wearing a polyester base layer and fleece and try to stay away from cotton. Effective layering will help provide comfort when you run and also keep your muscles nice and warm so you won’t be causing any damage.
Additionally, try testing out different running routes and stay away from the typically boring neighbourhood run. Although at the moment in the UK, you are only supposed to stay in your local area but you can easily work around this until lockdown restrictions ease by driving 10 mins away and going for a nice run there. Switching up your running routes will help you to fall in love with running like so many others do.
Hiking or walking
During the pandemic, we’ve all realised how vital it is to go on your daily walk and how it can work wonders for your mental health. Whenever a slice of sun comes out, or even if it is raining, get your waterproofs or shorts on and go for a lovely walk. We guarantee that when you come back off your walk, you’ll feel refreshed and great.
Walking in-fact is a great form of exercise and if you combine walking with other forms of exercise e.g. strength training or HITT, it can actually help keep you in great shape.
As a top tip, make sure you wear sunscreen on your walk or hike to make sure you are protecting your skin properly.
It can take some time to get used to but skipping is a great way to get your heart rate up and can be paired perfectly with some squats, lunges, and other exercise moves. When you even become a pro at skipping, you can learn how to criss cross and some other tricks.
Skipping is great in all weathers. It is also fantastic if it is raining as you can find shelter somewhere and practice your skipping. Simply take your skipping rope to a village hall and use the outdoor shelter provided, only if it is safe and legal to do so, of-course.
Utilise a park bench for exercise
You might have seen a lot of PTs using park benches to practice a reverse bench lunge and also using benches to mimic a box jump (make sure the bench is secure before doing this!). Park benches are perfect for practicing body weight exercises as they also add some fun to the workout.
Why not find a suitable park bench and practice some body weight exercises, this will get your muscles working and be a great way to mix up a simple walk or run.
Frisbee is a quick, easy way to get moving around with a friend. Although you are only allowed to exercise with one other person outside your household at the moment but with restrictions changing, this will eventually be up to 6 people. Frisbee is a great way to make your friend run to catch the frisbee and also works your upper body and core muscles.
Exercising outdoors is great!
We’ve only realised how great the outdoors is in recent times and a simple walk even for 5 minutes can do wonders for your mental health. Personal Trainer, Ben Wood from FORM Manchester mentions that a great way to exercise outside and out of the gym is to have a goal. You will focus on this goal, rather than others around you and this is a great way to get a really good workout in.
With the change of the weather becoming a lot more sunnier, now is a perfect time to get outdoors and get active.