5 of the best outdoor workouts

20 July 2015 by
First published: 27 July 2015

Tone up and get a tan at the same time with our roundup of 5 of the best outdoor workouts. Don’t forget to enjoy the sun safely and protect your skin from sunburn: use a combination of sun and shade; and make sure you wear clothing such as a hat and sunglasses, and sunscreen with a protection level of at least SPF15 and four stars. Use it generously and reapply regularly.


Park workout

Get in touch with your inner child and play in the park. Whether you play on the monkey bars, climbing frames and swings or take your workout outdoors, the possibilities are vast. You can incorporate shuttle runs with park bench press-ups, triceps dips and monkey bar pull-ups. Even if you’re a hardcore gym goer, you’ll find something to help with your cardio and resistance workout, plus the changing terrain will help the time pass quicker and provide a challenging workout.


Outdoor swimming

Cool off and get fit with an outdoor swim. Whether you choose to go to the seaside, swim wild in a river or lake or head to a Lido, this low-impact sport uses a wide range of muscles and lengthens muscles while increasing flexibility over time. Although each stroke uses different muscle groups, while swimming you’ll work the core, back, shoulders, glutes and hamstrings. Plus, it will increase your lung capacity. Swimming is also great at improving posture by combating slouched or hunched shoulders, which can be caused by sitting all day at a computer.



If you’re inspired by Wimbledon, grab a friend and get to your nearest court. Tennis is a great calorie burner; just 30 minutes of playing can burn 250 calories depending on your height and weight. One of the benefits of playing against a friend is the increase in exertion and effort (especially if you’re a competitive person) means an increase in calories burned. The sport works all the major muscle groups, over time your agility, flexibility and reflexes will improve.



If you’re a strong swimmer, get to one of the surfing hotspots around the UK and learn to catch a wave. This fun activity can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked. Surfing provides a brilliant upper-body workout as the paddling works the arms, back and abs and getting into the standing position and controlling the board is great for improving core strength.


Mountain biking

Take to two wheels – whether you own a bike or have to hire, you can explore your local area or take the opportunity to discover a new area via a designated bike path. You’ll get a cardio workout as well as a great resistance workout for your legs and glutes.