It’s hard to find the motivation to exercise when it’s cold and wet but now that it’s warmer there are no excuses not to get out and get active. With Wimbledon starting in a couple of weeks, some of us are already dusting off our racquets and hitting the courts. But don’t just stick to your old favourites. We’ve done a round up of some fun alternative outdoor sports to get you moving this summer. Enjoy!
Open water swimming
We all know swimming is one of the best exercises around, but if the thought of it conjures up images of cold and soggy school change rooms think again. Swimming outdoors is a totally different experience. Join a growing number of open water swimmers taking to our gorgeous rivers, lakes, lochs and beaches to get your kicks (and strokes). Check out www.swimming.org for more inspo. If that’s just a bit too daring, our cities’ lovely Lidos come into their own in the summer months, some of them are even heated!
Stand up paddle boarding
SUP is the world’s fastest growing sport. Originating in Hawaii, the use of a paddle while standing on a surfboard was taken up by Aussies in the 1930’s but it wasn’t until the sport was adopted in California in the 1990’s that it really took off. Understandably popular in watery cities like Sydney and Dubai, it’s slowly finding a following in the UK. The sport, which gives a great core and all-body work out, can even be done on the Thames in London. Check out www.active360.co.uk.
If like us sailing to you means sitting artfully on deck sipping a G&T and watching the sun go down then perhaps getting behind the wheel is not for you. But if you like the idea of tacking the seas, hoisting sails and, erm, pulling ropes? Then give sailing a try this summer. In Port Solent, near Portsmouth, Sunsail offer one-day taster courses to bring out your inner pirate. Check out sunsail.co.uk.
Horse riding is a great workout for both the body and soul. Often mistakenly seen as a sedentary sport, an hour’s horse riding can burn up to 500 calories, which is the same as a 30-minute jog. Conversely though, riding is relaxing, can help ease stress and has the added bonus of taking place in beautiful countryside. If you’re stuck in the capitol don’t fear, check out ridinginlondon.com for a canter in a common near you.
It was good enough for Kate Middleton in her uni years so it’s good enough for us. Rowing is a great all-body work out – it’s not just your arms getting toned, but works your legs and core too. It keeps the heart elevated and burns twice as many calories as a spinning class. Plus it can be done outdoors and in a team so it’s good for the soul and for socialising. We like river rowing with a hamper of strawberries and Pimms, and a good looking guy doing the hard work, but maybe that’s just us.