FITNESS EXPERT OUT DOOR GYM

Picnics, beach holidays, barbecues, camping – ahh, summer has arrived! And it’s surely a fact that everything is much easier now.

Getting the kids dressed? Simple, withoutcoats or hats to worry about. Waking upearly for work? Much more tolerable now it’slight in the morning. Staying in shape? Eventhat’s effortless when the weather’s nice andyour workout options are plentiful – surfing,canoeing, cycling or swimming, anyone?And science shows that outdoor exerciseis a boon to the body too. Here’s all theinspiration you need to hit the green gym…

1.YOU’LL FIND IT EASIER

Not only will you feel more motivated toexercise outside when the sun’s shining,but you’ll also perceive it to be easier thannormal. A 2009 study found that walkersselected a quicker speed but deemed itto be easier when hiking outdoors.

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2. YOU’LL BURN MORE CALORIES

Nature’s gym is tough. When running,cycling or walking, changes in gradientstress different muscles compared withdoing the same sport on flat terrain. Astrong headwind will also make you work harder, using more energy and burning oodles of calories.

3. YOU’LL BE A LOT HAPPIER

Outdoor exercise is good for your mood.One study printed in Environmental Science& Technology shows that walkers felt moreenthusiastic, energetic, confident andhappier when hiking outside than whenon a treadmill. See you out there!

FIT FOR ADVENTURE

Camping is the ultimate trip for fitness fans. Eating alfresco, running through the countryside, sleeping on theground – there’s something very organic about a campingvacation that appeals to our adventurous spirit. And justas fitness has hit the fashionable fast lane, camping isset to become pretty stylish this year too. In fact, festivalgoers are putting aside their party passes in favour of farhealthier weekends at wellness fests such as Virgin Sportevents in the UK and US or Austria’s Women’s Summer Festival.However, you don’t have to go far to enjoy the great outdoors – one study from GOOutdoors shows that thousands of us will remain in the UK for our summer holiday.And there’s so much great-value kit to choose from – such as the Apache 4 Tipi Tent(from £69.99 at goutdoors.co.uk; pictured) – that it’s easy to camp in style this season.

FITNESS EXPERT OUT DOOR GYM

GAME, SET, MATCH

Love Wimbledon? If you’ve got a budding Andy Murray or Johanna Konta in your household,help them to hone their tennis skills by signing up for The Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA)Tennis for Kids. Not only is tennis great for boosting fitness levels, it’s also a fantastic way tomake friends – and the Lta’s initiative means that it’s available to all youngsters aged five toeight. Free of charge for children, Tennis for Kids courses are led by qualified coaches andteach youngsters basic tennis skills. No kit is required, as those attending the six-week coursewill be supplied with rackets and balls. Courses are booking fast; find one in your area atlta.org.uk/tennisforkids. Want to try your own hand at tennis? The Lta has joined forces withNike to offer all-female training sessions up and down the country. The ever-popular classestake place every Tuesday and offer the chance for women to hone their tennis skills whilegetting fit. Again, you don’t need to own any kit because rackets and balls are provided. Allyou need is the will to give tennis a go! Find out more at tennistuesdays.co.uk.

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