The gorgeous bout of summer weather the UK has enjoyed over the last few weeks means that, if you’re anything like me, you haven’t exactly felt enthusiastic about wasting precious hours of sunlight and pleasant temperatures in a stuffy, air-conditioned gym.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the gym – I dream of a world and a schedule which would allow me to spend hours there – but on a hot day, when the air feels fresh and the sun is warm, it seems such a shame to have to go indoors.
Skipping the gym doesn’t have to mean going without a workout! You don’t have to stare at a television screen or brick wall while you get your cardio fix. Heading outside for your exercise means that you can take note of your surroundings and experience the great outdoors.
There’s loads of great ways to keep up, or even start a new regime in the great outdoors. If you’re just starting out, then in my book, you should stick to the basics:
Running: Running is the ultimate classic when it comes to a cardio workout, and when the sky is blue, you can’t beat heading out for a jog.
If you usually run on a treadmill then it’s important to remember that you might feel like you’re going a little slower outside. Wind resistance, steep inclines and just the feeling of solid ground beneath your feet all mean that things can feel a little harder when you first make the change.
Depending on the terrain around where you live, you may need to change your footwear. Rough terrain means you need trainers with increased traction, for better grip and more durability while racing shoes are good for short runs on roads. Check out Millet Sports’ selection of running shoes for all sorts of options online or head to your local running shop, where they’ll help you find your perfect pair.
Walking: Taking a walk is a great way to get some cardio in, especially when you’ve got a busy schedule.
Why not just walk somewhere you would usually drive to during the summer months? You’d be surprised how your steps add up. Download a walking app or just pick up a pedometer. Aim for 10,000 per day and you’ll be doing great! I am currently using Runkeeper.
For something a little more intensive, add some hills and try to walk as quickly as you possibly can to get your heart pumping! When things get easy, add a little jog where you can.
Swimming: When it’s hot outside, there’s nothing more refreshing than plunging into an ice cool outdoor pool. Swimming is also a great full body workout, burning around 400 calories in 30 minutes of breastroke, and what’s more, you won’t get too hot or sweaty whilst you’re submerged!
If you don’t have access to a lido or there’s nowhere near by, why not try swimming in the sea, a local lake, pond or river! The EU have compiled this list of the best places to swim across Europe, so maybe you could even take a trip with open water swimming in mind!
For open water swimming in the UK, I’d recommend you pick up a wetsuit as things can get a little chilly – this one by ORCA will do the job.