Why you should try exercising outdoors in London throughout the year
Anyone that knows me and my philosophy towards health and fitness will know that I have always been a vocal supporter of regular gym attendance. As a personal trainer much of the fitness regimes I have practiced, both for my own health and fitness and with several of my clients, are equipment-focused. The variety of exercises you can do in in a well-equipped gym are boundless. However, limiting exercise to one environment can cause your workout regime to become stale and repetitive and it is important to keep your exercise fresh by mixing in some outdoor based activities, alongside regular gym attendance.
If like me, you live and work in London, we are lucky that it is a city with an abundance of parks and green spaces. From the most central and exclusive areas right out to the suburbs on the outskirts, there are spaces that are perfectly suited to hosting all kinds of exercise throughout the year.
For those wishing to start their outdoor exercise regime at the very simplest of levels, taking long, brisk walks around London’s various parks is an excellent way to keep active. Walks are a great example of how certain forms of exercise can be beneficial on a physical, mental and spiritual level. Long walks on a cold winter’s day can be particularly restorative and meditative, helping to take us away from the hibernation of winter.
The most common seen form of outdoor exercise is jogging. Around 1 million Britons now jog regularly, a fantastic figure, but one that nonetheless should be much higher given the numerous health benefits of jogging. Not only does jogging help boost cardiovascular fitness, making our heart and lungs stronger and healthier, but it can also help to build our bones and muscles, boost our metabolism and help keep our weight in check. As someone who lives and works throughout the Covent Garden and Mayfair areas, I personally like to jog around central London’s many world class parks, starting off around St James’ Park and jogging onto Green Park, before walking up to Hyde Park, or Regents Park two places that offer huge, expansive green spaces where I can complete my exercise.
As well as jogging and walking, parks also provide opportunities to partake in more unorthodox, outdoor-based exercises such as circuit training and the military style exercise classes that are becoming increasingly common sights in parks throughout London. The capital’s parks have long been a key destination for partaking in team based sports and the sight of Sunday League Football games on the Hackney Marshes is just one example. So don’t be deterred by the cold weather, the parks are emptier than ever at the moment making it a perfect time to get outside and exercise.