Exercising outside is a great way to instantly revitalise any fitness routine, regardless of the season. Whether it’s the freshness of spring, the warmth of summer, or an unexpectedly mild autumn or winter day, the allure of the Great British outdoors is always there.
We already know that the benefits of exercising outdoors are vast, providing a rejuvenating experience for both the body and mind. But for those who are keen to venture beyond running, hiking and cycling, there’s a treasure trove of other, less obvious al fresco workouts waiting to be discovered. Here’s a deeper dive into some familiar workouts, tailored for the outdoors.
1. Yoga and Pilates
The tranquillity of nature complements the holistic nature of yoga and Pilates. After all, these exercises are not only about achieving physical strength and flexibility — they’re about bringing together mind and body, in the pursuit of overall wellness.
Taking these workouts outdoors every once in a while can give them a rejuvenating twist.
Whether you’re practising Sun Salutations under the actual sun or holding a Pilates plank with the rustling leaves as your background track, make sure you choose a flat, non-slippery surface; a flat patch in your garden or a quiet corner of your local park is the perfect setting.
This ballet-derived workout is less about pirouettes and more about posture, strength and flexibility. As such, barre’s unique blend of ballet, yoga, and Pilates is easily transferred beyond the dance studio into various outdoor settings.
The emphasis on precision and core strength can be even more pronounced when you’re drawing balance from uneven natural terrains. Likewise, trees or park benches can prove to be excellent substitutes for the traditional ballet barre. Challenging yourself in an outdoor setting can refine your techniques and focus. With nature as your backdrop, you may even find your stretches going a notch deeper.
3. Strength training
Strength isn’t just built with weights; it’s hewn from perseverance and adaptability. Need to try something different to revitalise your routine? Try heading outdoors for a session. Nature offers plenty of resistance and equipment, from rocky terrains to the gravity you defy with each jump.
In outdoor strength training sessions, your body weight becomes your primary apparatus. Think push-ups, lunges and planks. For added resistance, everyday items like filled water bottles can be your makeshift dumbbells. All you need is a little imagination.
4. Circuit training
Outdoor circuit training opens up an alternative to your usual routine. Using park or garden elements — like benches for tricep dips, open spaces for shuttle runs or pathways for lunges — you can make your surroundings an integral part of the workout, allowing you to experience a comprehensive, full-body workout while enjoying the great outdoors.
If you’re a David Lloyd Clubs member, try our unique Battlebox classes. These sessions take place in purpose-built outdoor rings, combining full-body fitness training, high-energy challenges, teamwork and that all-important fresh air.
5. HIIT (high-intensity interval training)
Intense, short bursts of energy expenditure are the core of HIIT — and the adrenaline rush is only amplified if you’re lucky enough to work out amid undulating terrains, fresh air and open skies. So as well as your regular indoor class, consider adding the occasional outdoor HIIT session.
Expansive park areas are ideal for drills like sprints, jump squats and burpees, as well as expansive movements like broad jumps and lateral shuffles. The outdoors presents a canvas for you to design your own high-intensity narrative. Imagine doing downhill burpees downhill or uphill sprints; that’s nature’s way of upping the intensity!
6. Aqua aerobics
Nothing says summer like a splash in the pool, and water workouts are an excellent way to combine resistance training with cardiovascular fitness.
Aqua aerobics in outdoor pools (or other safe bodies of water) offers a unique challenge while natural light improves your mood. Many David Lloyd Clubs offer classes in outdoor pools during the balmy months. Our aqua aerobics sessions use water resistance, combined with floats and water weights, ensuring you get a full-body workout while staying refreshingly cool.
When diving into these workouts, make safety your priority. Before you head out, familiarise yourself with our practical guidelines on exercising safely in hot weather. For an added rhythmic zest to your routines, tune into this sun-soaked summer workout playlist.
At David Lloyd Clubs, we’ve always offered both indoor and outdoor facilities so you can get your workout whatever the weather. As each season unveils its splendour, consider it an open invitation for you to redefine your fitness journey. Ready to soak up the sun, or push yourself further on those breezy autumn days? Dive into the myriad of outdoor facilities at David Lloyd Clubs and let this season be your fittest yet!