When it’s summer and the sun is out at long last, the call of the beer garden can be hard to ignore. Whereas there’s something glorious about the idea of a drink or two in the sun, there’s also something sad about the idea there’s nothing else to do to make the most of the fine weather.
For anyone struggling to come up with anything else to do with a long sunny day, we have put together a few suggestions that might just drag you out of the city.
If there’s one thing that everyone can agree beats a beer garden – especially when the sun’s out, it’s the beach. Along with the many obvious great things about the sand, sea and sun, for anyone looking to get out of the gym and try something a bit different for their training, the sand and shallow tide creates an excellent resistance training opportunity.
Running barefoot in the sand works your muscles harder – thus burning more calories. While barefoot you will use more of the smaller muscles to balance that don’t always get a workout due to support from your trainers. Running in the sand works your calf muscles and ankles a lot more than a treadmill.
The same goes for running in the shallow tide. This will mean you will pick your feet up more, working your abs, hips, quads and calfs more than running on the road.
Add to this the wind resistance, free vitamin D from the sun and the better views, you’ll also be able to cool off in the water at the end of your workout, which nicely leads to our next suggestion:
This is definitely one that won’t occur (or at least appeal) to you until the sun is out, but there are lakes, reservoirs, rivers and shores all over the UK that will be ripe for some more scenic lengths. There are, of course, other added benefits to outdoor swimming. For starters, you burn more calories because of the cold water. To rival the chills your muscles work harder to generate heat and in doing so use up more energy. On top of that is the current or the lapping waves, which add further resistance. For anyone swimming in salt water, even your skin will benefit from the magnesium.
You can look at this in two very positive ways. The first is exploring the rural countryside and the history and sights it has to offer, all while embracing nature, getting away from concrete and crowds and enjoying the peace. The other side to hiking is the excellent cardio workout you’ll get, while also working on your endurance and core and leg strength.
You’ll have been playing football all season long in the wet and the cold, so it only makes sense to make the most of the sun being out and getting out on the grass instead of training on indoors or on astroturf. But this doesn’t just apply to football and rugby players. Martial artists working on rolling and grappling, as well as yoga and pilates enthusiasts, will benefit from working in the heat. (Think Bikram yoga). By doing so you will burn more calories and find that your muscles stretch easier than in the cold.