Want to get outside this bank holiday? Grab your workout buddy and head into the sunshine with one of these workout options.
What puts you off exercise? Is it that you have no time or that the weather is too gross to inspire you to head out? The bank holiday weekend is offering you solutions to those excuses, with plenty of extra time off work to get moving and the promise of sunshine.
And running isn’t the only way to take your training outside. From lidos to tennis courts, golf courses to skate parks (yes, really), here are the best outdoor workouts to get you in the sunshine this summer.
Grab a skateboard
The rollerskating trend not quite for you? Why not try out its more balanced counterpart, skateboarding?
And before you argue that it’s more of a leisure activity than workout, sports scientists have confirmed that skateboarding is a complete workout in itself. It not only works the cardiovascular system but also builds muscular strength.
Even if you’re not pulling fancy tricks, you’ll still strengthen your body – and get to see your town or city in a new way.
Take to one of the UK’s many lakes for a full-body workout that is as fun as it is thrilling. Waterskiing doesn’t just strengthen your lower body, it also develops posture and core muscles, as well as targeting your shoulders and arms.
The British Water Ski & Wakeboard association has a handy directory to help you find a club near you, where you can find anything from beginner lessons to one-on-one coaching. Then, all that’s left to do is grab a wetsuit and get out on the water.
Pick up a tennis racket
Test your strength and stamina with a volley or two at your local court. Tennis is great for developing aerobic fitness with short sharp bursts of exertion while testing the anaerobic system. Make it social, and ask another household for a game of doubles.
“Playing tennis regularly is beneficial on several fronts,” says Jo Ward, LTA Former British Professional Tennis Player who competed in five Wimbledon Championships.
“Firstly, it’s great for improving physical fitness, tennis improves your speed, stamina, coordination, balance, and a whole host of other areas. Playing sport and doing physical activity are also linked to positive mental health too, and tennis, in particular, provides mental stimulus as it requires problem-solving and focus.”
Outdoor swimming pools, lidos and open water venues are the perfect place to spend the summer. Book a session at one of London’s best lidos – from London Fields to Brockwell Lido – or take a dip at Hampstead Heath’s swimming ponds.
And don’t let the cold water deter you. “Swimming and immersing yourself in cold water has many health benefits,” says Sarah Gerrish, founder of Wonderful Wild Women, partner of Speedo.
“For me, the main benefits I have noticed are a boost to my immune system caused by an increase in white blood cells and improved circulation. There’s also a noticeable elevation in your mood post-swim.”
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The UK’s best lidos and outdoor swimming pools
Play a round of golf
Dust off your golf clubs and come out swinging. It’s fun, it gets you fit, reduces stress and takes you outdoors. Golf has even been proven to help train your mind – as it demands cognitive skills like using hand-eye coordination.
Plus, all that walking in between the holes is ideal for catching up with friends you haven’t seen IRL over the past year.
Train in the park
Outdoor workouts are a great way to change up your exercise routine. But instead of aimlessly doing burpees on your own (because, who has motivation for that?) you can create your very own group exercise class as groups of up to 30 can spend time outside together.
Worried about not having any equipment in the park? Bodyweight exercises are actually great for increasing mobility and challenging your bodies ‘stabilisers’. So put the dumbbells down and try a no-kit bodyweight workout. Not sure where to start? Try this equipment-free park workout to get your endorphins flowing.
Organise a group cycle
Yes, you read that correctly. Now cycling doesn’t have to be done solo, you can loop around Richmond Park on two wheels with your friends.
There’s something pretty special about cycling in a group, with individual riders working together. And it means you can draft off the back of a faster cyclist, and save your legs.
Coffee and cake stop is obligatory.
Stand up paddleboarding
From the Lake District to Cornwall, waters across the UK offer guided paddleboarding tours – and it’s arguably the perfect post-lockdown activity for maintaining social distancing. Choose from either a private lesson or a group class and test your balance, strength and core.
Want more workout inspo? Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.
Images: Getty/ Unsplash