Despite persistent downfalls and the ever-changing weather, us ladies just can’t seem to get enough of al fresco workouts. In fact, new research reveals that more women in the UK are opting for the great outdoors to exercise, with a 52% increase since 2007.
As would be expected in our unpredictable financial climate, 60% of the women surveyed cite expensive fees are the reason they’re not going to the gym. However, the study conducted by Shock Absorber, the UK’s leading sports bra brand, reveals the benefits of the Great Outdoors are more than financial. More than a third (34 per cent) of women felt they achieved a better workout because they were inspired by the surroundings and half (50 per cent) love the fresh air.
According to Dr Jo Barton, leading researcher in green exercise at the University of Essex, 88 per cent of people experienced an overall improvement in mood after exercising outdoors compared to 45 percent of people whose mood worsened after exercising indoors.
UK’s top green exercise hotspots
Shock Absorber has partnered with Dr Jo Barton to identify the UK’s top ten inspirational green exercise hotspots, chosen for their balance of green space and water, stimulating views and proximity to wildlife.
· White Cliffs of Dover, England
· Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, England
· Lunan Bay & Red Head, Scotland
· Brecon Beacons, Wales
· Killarney National Park, Republic of Ireland
· Hampstead Heath, England
· Loch Tay, Scotland
· Downhill, Northern Ireland
· Forest of Dean
· Powis Castle, Welshpool, Wales
Benefits of green exercise
Dr Barton comments: “Green exercise offers unique benefits compared to working out indoors. It significantly improves mood, self-esteem and restores mental fatigue. Added to this, people work harder when in a natural environment but perceive their workout to be easier. Training in the great outdoors also provides essential variety, especially with the changeable British weather – this maintains interest and reduces dropout whereas keeping fit indoors is more predictable.”
The study showed running (48 per cent) and cycling (26 per cent) were the most popular outdoor activities but newer fitness trends such as Buggy Fit and British Military Fitness are helping to drive the uptake of green exercise with almost one in 10 (eight per cent) taking part in each.
Get Out There campaign
Shock Absorber has launched its “#Get Out There” campaign to promote the benefits of exercising in the great outdoors and encourage women to share their inspirational places to train. By uploading photos to the campaign’s Facebook page, people can be inspired by others’ experiences and get out there to try new locations for themselves.
Shock Absorber’s Kirsty Kothakota comments: “Many women have their favourite exercise location which gives their workout that extra boost. The aim of our ‘#Get Out There’ campaign is to provide a nationwide picture of inspirational and accessible green exercise places. Research shows participants work harder when exercising outdoors so it is important women wear the right sports bra. A Shock Absorber sports bra will give them the support they need, helping to further boost performance and confidence”.
So what are you waiting for? Green exercise is accessible, flexible and affordable, whether it’s a power-walk with the dog around your local park or a jog with friends through your neighbourhood, there is a green exercise out there for everyone.
Win a Shock Absorber sports bra
Finally, as an added incentive to get your green exercise regime kicked off, Shock Absorber have kindly offered Queen of Easy Green readers the chance to win one of two of their ‘Red, White and Blue’ sports bras. For a chance of winning, simply complete the box below. Good luck!