There’s a lot of positive stuff to be said about indoor gyms – warm, clean, convenient and so on – but when the British summer finally arrives (as it just about has!) it’s time to skip the gym and head  outdoors to work up a sweat!

Exercising outdoors can help burn more calories and provide a more diverse challenge, especially in terms of things like having to work harder on uneven surfaces, healthy exposure to vitamin D and improved mental acuity.

 Organisations like the National Trust are currently promoting the British landscape as an ‘outdoor gym’ via their website. The Outdoor Gym webpage includes things like safety tips and advice, information on the benefits or working out outdoors and various exercise plans to help novices create an effective exercise routine.

 The UK boasts some of the most stunning, beckoning landscapes in the world, and a huge plus point has to be that they’re all very accessible. So, what are the options for folks looking to replace the treadmill and exercise bike, this summer?

 Cross-country Running

All a runner needs is some comfortable running shoes and the drive to keep going. Running is certainly one of the cheapest ways to exercise regularly in pretty much any environment. Cross-country running can be a superb challenge for those wanting to get out of the gym but stay away from the roads. The trick is to plan a route that offers the right level of challenge for the time of year.

 Summer is a great time to take up cross-country running because the landscape is as it’s most amenable. Look out for local cross-country groups that can provide superb support and advice for newcomers to the sport.

 Mountain Biking

There’s no need to invest in expensive mountain bikes and a wardrobe of custom cycle clothing. Hitting the outdoors on two wheels can be for any level of cyclist. The UK is packed with bike-friendly trails and pathways that mean it’s not too hard for riders to steer clear of the roads and work out a sweat exploring their local landscapes. Local bike shops and cycle groups can help newbies with safety equipment advice and finding challenging beginner level routes in the local area.


A little like a cross between mountain climbing and walking, scrambling typically involves partially using the hands to traverse ridges and mountain faces with a low degree of steepness as part of a longer route. Scrambling routes are divided by grades beginning at grade 1 for the easiest routes.

The likes of Snowdonia and the Lake District offer superb scrambling opportunities for novices’ right though to experts. Typical routes usually include elements of regular hill walking and some ridge walking too. British climbing organisation, UK Climbing, has plenty of information on how to get started as a scrambling novice.

 Heading into the Great British outdoors is about more than just taking a break from that air-conditioned gym. It’s about utilising an incredible natural provision that’s right at the fingertips of even the most urban Brit.

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