Thursday, 4 June 2015

5 ways to get outside and get exercising this summer

I don't want to speak too soon, but it feels as though summer could finally be here... It's been touch-and-go these last few weeks as to whether we'd ever see some sun this summer, but right now I'm sat outside typing this in a bikini (oh the life of a freelancer!), so fingers crossed that the sun is here to stay...

That being said, come rain or shine I fully intend to spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors this summer. There is nothing quite like a jog in the park, a walk on the beach, or a swim in the sea. Nothing can compare to breathing fresh air, feeling the sun on your skin, or hearing the waves crashing into the shore. Being outside is good for you.

Polzeath, Cornwall, 2013

In my yoga class this week my teacher described our outer edges as being like a lake. We live in our bodies, but the outer edges of our being are fluid. Our extremities connect us to the outside world, to each other, to the earth. Before you think I'm sounding all hippy, just think for a moment: how do you feel when you have sand between your toes? How do you feel when the sun connects with your skin? How do you feel when you jump into a freezing cold lake? You feel alive. You feel connected. You feel free. See? Being outside, with nature,  is good for you ;)

So my friends I urge you to get outside this summer! And what better way to get outside than combining it with some exercise? I can guarantee for some of these suggestions you won't even realise you've exercised until afterwards - it'll be that fun - promise! Without further ado here are my 5 ways to get outside and get exercising this summer:

1. Get out of the gym and into the park. Most of the exercises you do in the gym you can do outside, so why not take your next workout to your local park? (Yes, you may have paid for that gym membership, but save it for a rainy day, the most important thing is that you actually do workout). Up until recently I've used my local park for long jogs, walks, and cycle rides; these are all wonderful activities and, God-willing,  I will continue to do them in the park until old age. However since completing the half marathon back in May I decided that I wanted to mix up my training to include some higher intensity sessions in the hope to get more lean for summer. So instead of going on my usual 4-miles run 3-4 times a week, I've started to change 1-2 of these sessions for some sprints and strength building exercises. And guess what? I can do all of it in the park! Yipee! Here's what a typical work out looks like:

5 x 30m upward hill sprints with 5 x squat jumps at the top of each one
10 x 15m acceleration sprints (repeat twice)
2 x 15m hopping (on each leg)
3 x 20 reps of mountain climbers
3 x 10 reps of lunges
2 x 10 reps of burpies (I want to get to 3 sets but boy are they hard!)
3 x 30 reps of step ups onto a big log (make sure it's a stable one!)
3 x 15 reps of tricep dips on the same log
3 x 30 secs of dolphin plank
3 x 20 squats

Be creative. Mix it up. Find an incline outside, find a patch of grass, find a tree, find a log - use what nature can offer you - and I promise you'll be knackered but happy by the end of it!

2. Go wild swimming. There's nothing quite like feeling water on your skin, and when that water doesn't contain chlorine it's even better! Go for a swim in the sea, find your local lido, or find a safe lake to take a dip in. Do check beforehand whether the conditions are safe and whether there are lifeguards nearby. You could even sign up to an event like I did last summer - I swam in the British Heart Foundation Bournemouth Pier-to-Pier charity event with my best friend last year and it was the most amazing day. The atmosphere was fantastic, the event well organised, and most of all afterwards I felt totally invigorated (a little knackered too, but the excitement definitely outweighed this!).

BHF Bournemouth Pier-to-Pier swim, 2014

3. Plan a day at the beach. There's nothing quite like a beach day. You can go for a nice long rambling beach walk, you can take a dip in the sea, and don't forget that game of beach rugby/cricket/bitbat (whichever your preferred sport may be!). Everyone knows the beach is where it's at. Need I say more?

4. Explore your city on foot. If you live in a city it's likely that you're a pretty busy bee. A busy bee who most likely relies on public transport to get around town. But this summer why not plan a few weekend days where you explore your city on foot? Plan a route - maybe a part of town you don't know well - and go for a long walk. Stop at coffee shops, pub gardens, and markets along the way; it's the perfect way to get some gentle exercise whilst discovering new places and seeing your city through fresh eyes. This one isn't just for city dwellers - if you live out in the countryside why not go wild and head into town for day? As beautiful as trees and fields are (and trust me, I LOVE trees and fields), it's always fun to explore urban jungles too.

London, 2013

5. Try something totally random, new, stupid (any or all of the above). Zorbing down a hillside. Paintballing with mates. Surfing down in Cornwall. Zip-lining at Go Ape. Water skiing at your local lake. Pop-up Park yoga (click here to find out about my session in London next week!). Anything that's different, fun and will get you outdoors. Not only will it be great to learn something new, you'll also be outdoors and exercising without even realising it. Whatcha waiting for? Book something fun! Go, go, go!

Surfing, India, 2015

So my friends, I hope that this little post has inspired you to a) get outside and b) get off your ass - I'm kidding about b) as I know many of you are active already, but I do think that lots of us get stuck in exercise routines that are keeping us fit but not necessarily Beautifully Healthy. Being Beautifully Healthy is all about making the most out of life and our health, and if we're just doing the same old gym session 3 times a week then we're missing out on so much! So go on, be that lake - let your extremities connect with the great outdoors and I bet you won't regret it!

Namaste y'all <3

Love Lucy x


  1. Love these ideas - I'm definitely looking forward to more outdoor exercise this summer! x

    1. Me too! Let's hope the sunshine will stick around at least for a few weeks! Thank you Lily, I hope all is well with you. Love Lucy x