Warmer days and longer evenings makes now the perfect time of year to start exercising outside. Whether you take up a new team sport, head outside with the kids, or simply start walking more, there’s so many activities to choose from. Here are three you might not have tried before…
If the word ‘golf’ has you thinking of golf buggies and fancy clubhouses, you probably don’t think of it as the healthiest sport. But if you skip the famous 19th hole and leave the buggy at the clubhouse, you could walk up to 12km in just one round of golf. And all that activity could help reduce your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, while improving your social connections. If you don’t feel quite up to the full 18 holes, start with nine holes, or take the kids for a round of pitch and putt – golf played on a miniature course where the green can be reached in one stroke from the tee. One hour of golfing at a low intensity will earn you around 4 FitPoints®*.
Live near the water? Consider joining your local rowing club. Don’t worry if you’re new to exercise as most clubs cater to all abilities. Similarly, if you’re already fairly fit, rowing can be a great way to challenge yourself further. Stick with it, and you could improve your strength, endurance, and fitness levels, as well as benefit from a healthier heart and lungs, and reduce your risk of heart disease. Just 30 minutes of rowing at a moderate intensity will earn you around 3 FitPoints*.
Taking your pooch out on a regular basis is an easy way to reach your fitness targets. In fact, if you walk your dog at least four times a week, you’re likely to clock up more than the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity a week for adults. Walking has many health and wellbeing benefits – it’s been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma and stroke, and it’s thought that dog walking in particular could help lower stress levels, improve social connections, and encourage mindfulness. Don’t have a pet of your own? Consider volunteering for local animal shelters in need of dog walkers, or offer your walking services to friends and neighbours.
*Based on a 10st person