Temperamental though it may be, when the Great British Summer finally arrives, be sure to make the most of it by incorporating some outdoor activity into your fitness regime. Not only will it add some variety to your workout, open-air exercise positively stimulates your brain by exposing it to constantly changing scenery.
Here are our top 4 outdoor fitness activities:
Cycling: Getting on your bike is brilliant for boosting your heart rate, and regular cycling can improve cardiovascular fitness by 3-7%. It is also fantastic for building all-over muscle strength and tone, as it uses every single part of the body, not just your legs. To get started, all you need is a helmet, a couple of free evenings a week and you're away! The most important thing is to have confidence - cycle round your local park or close to home first before working up to busier roads. If you're an experienced cyclist, why not take part in one of the public cycling activities being held during Samsung's Bike Week?
Running:If you love the feeling of the sun on your back, running is definitely for you. Not only does it burn more calories per minute than any other form of CV exercise (with the exception of cross-country skiing), running also works your heart three times harder than normal. This helps the arteries to remain elastic for longer, significantly lowering the risk of high blood pressure, strokes and heart disease. Pounding the streets is also a fantastic way of shifting the last stubborn pounds that refuse to come off during other exercise.
Tennis:Hitting a few balls in your local tennis court is another great way to boost your cardio fitness and improve your metabolic rate. Just a one hour-long session can burn up to 600 calories for men and 400 for women! It is also a great way to socialise, or meet new people without compromising your fitness commitments - just make sure you warm up joints and muscles properly first, to avoid any injuries. To find a tennis court in your local area, visit the Tennis for Free website.
Golf: Often classed as a 'soft' sport, golf actually requires a great deal of power and flexibility to be played well. As the main swinging action uses the trunk and shoulders, teeing off regularly will improve your upper body strength. Being out on the green all day you can also expect to walk an average distance of 4km, so your heart will get a good workout too. If you want to get even more benefit out of your golf session, make sure you leave the caddy behind - dragging your own clubs around means you'll burn extra calories per hole.