“A two hour dose of nature a week significantly boosts health and wellbeing”*. That’s what a study of 20,000 people in England found earlier this year. Meanwhile, Shinrin-yoku – the Japanese art of forest bathing – is growing in popularity around the world.
We’re not surprised. Here at KBPT, we love nothing more than a few hours in the park, by the river, at the beach... or even just out in the garden.
Living and working in London, it can be difficult to escape the concrete jungle during the week. So, this weekend, why not clear your diary, switch off your phone and head out for some nature time? After all, exercising outside is not only good for your body but also good for your mind.
Here are our top five places for outdoor workouts within an hour of the KBPT studio:
1. Victoria Park
With more than 86 hectares, there’s loads of space for you to run, cycle and do your cardio workouts. There are also tennis courts and regular running events, including 5k and 10k races and half marathons. Plus, you can enjoy a post-exercise cuppa at the Pavilion Café.
2. London Fields
If you’re a keen swimmer, you can’t go wrong with London Fields Lido. Only a 5-minute walk from our studio, there’s a 50m pool, newly-renovated changing rooms and a sunbathing area. Our client Rosie describes it as “magical”.
3. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Home of the 2012 Olympic Games, you’ll find lovely parklands and waterways in the heart of Stratford. If you’ve not visited yet, we highly recommend it. Go for a run or a bike ride or get your swimming fix in the London Aquatics Centre.
4. Walthamstow Wetlands
London’s newest nature reserve is a peaceful haven in east London, where you might see heron dragonflies and lots of other wildlife. There are designated routes for runners and cyclists and you can even cycle there from Hackney along a signed and lit ‘greenway’.
5. Epping Forest
A little further afield, Epping Forest is perfect for a Sunday getaway. 2,400 hectares of ancient woodland are ready to be explored – on foot, on bike or on horseback – and it’s particularly stunning in the Autumn. Plus, when you’re nicely tired from all that exercise, there are lots of lovely country pubs nearby :)
Ask your KBPT personal trainer for more advice about exercising outside.