6 best outdoor workouts you can do now that restrictions are lifted

Posted by for Strong Women

Lockdown restrictions are lifting, so grab your workout buddy and head to your nearest park to enjoy one of these outdoor workouts this spring. We’ll see you on the tennis court.

After a year of streaming HIIT classes and yoga flows through our screens and into our homes, it feels like a very long time since we last stepped into a gym.

Luckily, lockdown is starting to ease, and from March 29 outdoor sports facilities will be allowed to reopen, the same date on which people are permitted to meet in groups of six or as two households outdoors.

From lidos to tennis courts, golf courses to bootcamp-style training in the park, here are the best outdoor workouts to get your exercise mojo back this spring.

Grab your tennis racket

Tennis clubs are reopening so 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.”

Women playing tennis
Women playing tennis
Best outdoor workouts: Tennis

Swim outside

Outdoor swimming pools, lidos and open water venues are all allowed to open from 29 March. Pre-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.”

Tooting Bec Lido
Tooting Bec Lido
Outdoor workouts: Swimming

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. 

Female golfer
Female golfer
Outdoor workout: golf

Train in the park

Outdoor workouts are one of the few escapisms from starring at the same four walls of our homes right now. But instead of aimlessly doing burpees on your own (because, who has motivation for that right now?) now you can create your very own group exercise class as groups of up to six can now exercise 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.

Women working out in the park
Women working out in the park
Outdoor workouts: park fitness

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. 

Female cyclists
Female cyclists
Outdoor workouts: cycling

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

Paddleboarding on Loch Glen
Paddleboarding on Loch Glen
Outdoor workout: paddleboarding

Want more workout inspo? Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.

IMAGES: GETTY & UNSPLASH

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