It’s no secret that the window for bagging some outdoor exercise while the sun’s up is getting smaller and smaller.
From dreary mornings to desk jobs, there are more obstacles than we’d care to mention that are coming between you and getting outside.
But the good news is there are a myriad of ways to ensure you can step outside before the nights draw in. Here’s how you can reap all the benefits that nature can bring at this time of year.
Mark Skelton, expert at Cotswold Outdoor, said: “Being outdoors can do wonders for our mental health and even just going a short walk can help to reduce stress levels. Research also suggests that being out in nature can help improve self-esteem, mood and sleep.”
Mark and Christian Allen, product expert at Runners Need, recommend:
Run or walk your commute
“If you’re heading into the office, you’re going to have to spend some time travelling,” says Christian. “Instead of sitting in your car or cramming yourself in on public transport, why not kill two birds with one stone and run or walk, your route instead? Not only is it a great way to get your exercise in, but it will also help to clear your mind too.”
Take a stroll while you talk or take meetings on the go:
“Instead of staying hunched up at your laptop for another Zoom meeting, or sitting on the sofa on a call to your mum, a better use of your time would be to take these calls outdoors,” says Mark. “You’re going to be spending the time doing these tasks anyway, so why not benefit from being outside too? In fact, research suggests that if you’re finding it difficult to concentrate, being outside and looking at nature can help. What’s not to like?”
Swap the gym for exercise outdoors
“When the weather is nice, why not swap your usual gym session for some outdoor exercise?” suggests Christian. “You can still get a great bodyweight workout in your local park and utilise the things you have around you, like using a bench for step-ups or tricep dips and even a heavy log or stone for weighted squats. Running outside is also a great way to beat the monotony of a treadmill, so spend some time exploring your local trails.”
Make it social
“Why not head to the park with your pals instead of the pub, spend a day at the beach with the family or go on a date with your loved one in the hills?” asks Mark. “If you want to get outdoors more, you don’t have to do it at the expense of your social life. You and your friends may also get to try out some new activities or discover new places – so everyone’s a winner.”
“A picnic or BBQ is a great way to get you outside, and you can make it social too,” adds Mark. “Alternatively, you could always take your usual meal outdoors in the garden to soak up some fresh air. It’s a much better option – especially if you usually eat in front of the TV.”