Make the most of the great outdoors this summer, enjoy the light nights and do some gentle or vigorous exercise to help you on your weight-loss journey.
Here’s our top 10 suggestions for trimming down outdoors…
1. Get on your bike! Cycling is a fun activity that everyone of any age can do and you don’t have to spend a fortune on a snazzy bike to get the same health benefits. If you cycle half an hour daily, you’ll not only burn off around 155kcal per session, but you could lose an extra 11lbs in fat per year.
2. Walk. Easy on your joints and a great way to see the world from a different perspective, walking is something most of us can do and it doesn’t cost a penny. If you have several stones to shed, start off with a gentle stroll that you can build up to a longer walk over time. A mile is, on average, 2,000 steps and the average person will burn around 80kcals in that distance.
3. Skip! As children, many of us will have spent hours skipping alone or with friends in the school playground, having fun and not thinking about how many calories we were burning. Skipping is one of the best cardiovascular activities around and it’s something you can do in the privacy of your back garden. Simply invest in a skipping rope (they cost less than a tenner) and give it a go. It’ll burn around 125kcals in just 10 minutes.
4. Hula hoop. A few years ago gym classes were full of hula hoop sessions because they are a great way to tone up and, in particular, slim down your waist. You can pick up a weighted hula hoop online for between £10 and £17 and start spinning anywhere, inside and out. It’ll burn around 210 kcals per half hour.
5. Garden. This is the perfect time of year to enjoy your garden, big or small. And whether you are weeding, pruning or planting yours, gardening can rake up a serious amount of calories burnt. Mowing the lawn, for example, will burn around 275kcals per hour and half an hour’s weeding can burn up to 150kcals.
6. Play tennis. Public courts are full of people playing during Wimbledon, but then can stand empty for the rest of the year. Most tennis clubs in the UK are desperate for members and offer ‘rusty racket’ sessions where, if you haven’t given tennis a go since school, you can try it out again. Tennis is a great high-impact, intense aerobic activity where you can expect to burn around 288kcals for just half an hour doubles.
7. Water sports. Britain’s canals, rivers and seas are full of opportunities to try all kinds of water-based activities from kayaking and canoeing, to scuba diving, river swimming, rowing and white water rafting. Each of these will burn around 200kcals per half hour and you’ll have great fun in the process.
8. Outdoor adventure sports. Abseiling, climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking and caving… you can give all these a go in the UK if you are an adrenalin junkie. Don’t assume sports like this are for youngsters, most places will have sessions available for individuals and you could discover a hidden love for a new hobby, as well as shedding around 250kcals per half hour for any of these activities.
9. Jog. Taking a gentle run around your nearby park or on the pavements is a cheap and effective way to burn fat quickly, clocking around 225kcals burnt per 30 minutes. Apps that help you go from sedentary to being able to run 5k in six weeks are a great way to motivate yourself and you could always persuade a buddy to join you in your goal. Build up slowly and gently and invest in a good pair of trainers to support your feet.
10. Frisbee. If you’re looking for something to do with your children over the long summer holidays and a way to burn calories, then give the humble Frisbee a go. Expect to burn off around 112kcals per half hour while throwing, running for and catching a Frisbee. You may look daft, but who cares?!