Bored of the sight of the gym? We get it, the gym can become a place of dread when you’re doing the same workouts day in day out.
To get your motivation back why not mix things up and try an outdoor workout?
There are tons of benefits to exercising outdoors and incorporating one outdoor workout into your weekly routine can boost your well-being.
So, what are you waiting for?! If you’re ready to get started and want some outdoor workout ideas, here’s some inspiration.
Running is something that you can start doing straight away. All you need is a decent pair of running trainers, some running clothing and a bit of motivation to get you through the front door.
If you’re new to running and don’t know where to start, you could join a local running club . We know getting started on your own can be daunting so a running club could be a fantastic way to meet new people.
But if you are going solo, you can download training plans like CouchTo5k. These are great to gently get you going and into a routine! You can use running apps like RunKeeper to track your performance.
However running doesn’t always mean long distance. Although this is good for building on your endurance, it isn’t the most effective way of burning fat.
If you’re a bit more advanced and are looking to shift a few pounds but the thought of running for more than 20 minutes talks you out of going all together then sprints could be the answer. If your eyes widened when you read ‘sprints’ don’t panic, they’re really not as bad as you think.
Doing sprints can be a form of HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, which targets fat burning as well as improving both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
Try 30 seconds sprint, 30 seconds rest/light jog and repeat 10 – 20 times. You can change this to 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off if you want to make it harder. If you really want to push yourself or if you’re starting to find this too easy, try this uphill.
It’s time to take your spin class outside! Cycling on sunny winter days can be just as enjoyable as in the summer meaning you can do it all year round.
Like running, cycling can be done for long distance training or as a form of HIIT. You can even join a local cycling group to get you into the swing of things.
This is a perfect one to do as a family at the weekend. Pack a picnic and have some lunch in the park as a rest stop.
If you’re in need of a bike or you’ve just realised your bike is rusting in the shed from years ago… save using your NHS discount here
If you want a quick and intense workout then HIIT is perfect for you! HIIT workouts have become increasingly popular and can be as quick as 7 minutes.
Nine times out of ten HIIT workouts require no equipment so you can do them anytime any place.
To get you started check out this 7-minute workout, each exercise should be done at an intensity of 8 out of 10, each exercise lasts 30 seconds, with a 10 second rest in between.
Repeat the circuit if you’d like a longer workout but keep your intensity consistent throughout. Make sure you familiarise yourself with each exercise before starting.
We’ve got some great discounts for NHS and healthcare staff on fitness clothing:
Ply-what? Yeah, we had no idea either. Turns out Plyo workouts are amazing for working on strength and speed and like HIIT you can do them anywhere with zero equipment.
Keep in mind that plyometric training is not intended for beginners or if you’re recovering for an injury.
But, if you are just starting out, you can simplify it and focus on four exercises for 45 seconds, having 15 seconds rest in between each exercise.
Here is one of our favourite circuits:
- Plie squat jump
- Double jump
- Lateral lunge
- Speed skaters
- Rest for 60 seconds
If you’re lucky enough to live near a park, then use this to your advantage.
You can do a full body workout using a park bench, just make sure no one is sitting on it first of course.
Using your body weight is very effective when trying to build on strength. Here are as few exercises you can do, aim for 12 reps of each exercise and repeat 3 times:
Include a lap of the park between each set for an extra push.
Most ab exercises don’t require any equipment, bonus! You can do a quick abs blast if your limited-on time or you could add to the end of your run/cycle. Give this 15-minute circuit a try:
Why you should give an outdoor workout a try:
- Studies show that exercising outside for 20 minutes is equivalent to drinking a cup of coffee in terms of energy levels.
- You burn more calories! Running and cycling outside means you are constantly changing terrains. A changing surface can enhance the strength of your connective tissue, which may help you avoid certain injuries too.
- It can be a family thing. Sometimes even the thought of fitting a workout in between work and house chores seems impossible. Why not take the whole family for a bike ride and pack a picnic?
- People who work out outdoors are more likely to stick to an exercise routine. Around half of the people who join the gym don’t stick with it beyond the first year.
- You’ll save money. Gym memberships aren’t cheap, even paying for a pay as you go class costs an average of £5 a go. Exercising outdoors means you can put those pennies towards a holiday or new clothes.
If you’re unsure of any exercises, you can Google it and various tutorials should come up.
We hope you give one of these a try and enjoy the workout. Let us know how you get on in the comment box below.
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Emily is our Marketing & Brand Executive, providing healthcare staff with useful tips and advice they need.
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