With spring well and truly on the horizon and slightly more hours of daylight, hints of sunshine and a general air of positivity on the streets, getting out more sounds appealing for the first time since September. Hurrah.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to spend less hours slogging it out on the treadmill and to find a bit more fun in being active so here are five ways you can get fit, strong and healthy without a membership fee.
Join a running club
Finding the motivation to run is no easy feat. But if you’re running with others it’s a) more fun and b) harder to talk yourself out of. You can go one step further by also committing to do something good for the community on your run by singing up (for free!) to The Good Gym. Operating from a number of locations, the concept is simple; go for a run and do good at the same time; each session will take runners to a help out at a community project before they return. Find out more and get involved here.
Get on your bike
Cycling is a great way to build cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength without putting any pressure on your joints. Signing up to an event is the best way to commit to the cause and nothing like a challenge to get your started. Why not take on a popular route like London to Brighton or find a local ride and a bunch of friends to join you.
Wild swimming officially became a thing last year and it’s only going to continue to increase in popularity. You can even wild swim in the heart of London at King Cross’s natural pond. Being out in nature is great for your soul but will also do wonders to your health as researchers at NASA have found that, over a 12-week period of regular swimming in cold water, subjects can see a reduction in blood pressure, cholesterol and an increase in libido and fertility. How refreshing.
Take a hike
There is nothing quite like breathing in fresh air whist you clamber up a coastal footpath and since seeing 'Wild' we are all about the girl power of a solo expedition. Some simple planning, careful snacks and a good pair of shoes are all you need. Plus, if you still need persuading hiking can burn up to 500 calories an hour – that’s one serious workout. And more importantly it make you happier: research by the US National Institute of Health found that hiking can help people with severe depression.
Join a team
Whether you were a netball pro at secondary school or not, it’s never to late to get back into team sports. Alongside the benefits to your physical health and fitness, a Canadian study has also found a strong link between team sports and lower risk of depression and stress. Time revisit wing attack.