8 free ways to get fit outside
Getting out and about in the fresh air is great for your mind, as well as your body – and it’s easy on your wallet, too.
While an aerobics class is good fun, there are major health benefits to getting fit in the great outdoors. Research shows exercising outside not only means you get fitter, it can give your mood a boost, too. Try these ideas for size:
- Strolling up and down hills will give your heart, lungs and legs a good workout. The uneven ground also forces you to use your core muscles, so you get a toned tummy, too.
- Walk the dog, or borrow a neighbour’s pooch. Dog owners tend to be more active and more sociable, which helps fight stress.
- Dig out your bike and use it to travel to work, or the station. Not only will you get fit, you could save money on petrol and train fares.
- Join a local walking group to discover unknown beauty spots. You’ll learn a lot, make friends and hit your exercise targets.
- Wild swimming – in a lake, river or the sea – is becoming more popular. Search online to see if there’s a safe spot near you.
- Download some inspiration: Try the free NHS Choices Change4LifeCouch to 5K app (free on iTunes and Google Play) – it builds you up gradually, with a mix of running and walking. Check out our walk-to-run plan, as well , and get your trainers on!
- Check out your local team-sport clubs, such as netball or football, as these are likely to have outdoor training areas.
- Join a ‘green gym’ and help the environment. Outdoor conservation groups run activities, such as clearing pondweeds or brambles, and always need volunteers.