As the weather improves, your local park beckons... and we’re not just talking about a walk and talk with one of your mates. It’s time for an outdoor workout!
We train lots of our KBPT clients in London Fields, Victoria Park and other green spaces around East London so we know what works. If you’re used to exercising in a gym and you’re new to park training, let’s answer some of the questions you might have.
How can I choose the right place?
Do a reccy of a few parks near you until you find somewhere that you’ll feel safe and comfortable. Look for a flat grassy area that offers some shade and is away from playgrounds and busy paths (but not too isolated). If you want to do step-ups and tricep dips, choose somewhere near a bench or steps.
What should I take with me?
All you need is a yoga mat and a positive attitude :) If you have a kettlebell or some hand weights, take them too. And it’s a good idea to have your phone with you so you can make notes of the exercise routine you’d like to follow and time your session. We also recommend wearing sunscreen and carrying a bottle of water so you can stay hydrated.
How long do I need?
An hour’s workout three times a week can make a big difference to your fitness but, if you’re pushed for time, you can get a lot done in just 30 minutes. Remember to factor in your travel time if you don’t live next to a park.
What kinds of exercises should I do?
You’ll be amazed what can be achieved with little or no equipment. Start off with a short jog and some star jumps to warm up then check out #WorkoutWednesday on @KBPT for short exercise videos, such as kettlebell abs and glutes workouts. If you’re a KBPT client, ask your trainer to design a routine you can do in the park in between your PT sessions.
What are the benefits of outdoor exercise?
Green spaces (parks and woodlands) and blue spaces (rivers and lakes) are known to reduce the stress of living in a city and lower the risk of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. So, as well as the physical benefits, working out in your local park helps to boost your mental wellbeing.
Any other tips?
Breathe in the fresh air and take in your surroundings while you exercise (it certainly beats a busy, hot gym). You might even like to do some yoga at the end of your session or use a meditation app to help you enjoy the calm. If you prefer group exercise, why not see if one or two of your friends fancy joining you for an outdoor workout? And finally, don’t forget to check the weather before you go... it’s no fun being rained on when you’re doing the plank!
If you’d like to train with one of our fantastic KBPT trainers this summer, contact Kate at [email protected].