Women’s Top 10 ‘Green’ workout hotspots revealed

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Diana Cotter

I love to walk round the reservoir and back over the golf course – plenty of green there :)


My favourite green exercise is a walk round a reservoir or to the local park and back

Donna Lawton

I know most people see it as boring but walking is my favourite exercise. My 3 and a half year old loves walking too and actually manages several miles a day!…on foot! x


I agree Donna, I love walking too and it’s such a great way to spend time with your kids, talking, encouraging them to appreciate their surroundings whilst also burning off that surplus energy – the kids, not mine! ;)

Sarahann Tonner

Lots of walking – I love to walk around the locl reservior or travel to the beach :) I walk my chocolate lab loads – great exercise!!!


I love geoaching too Denise, as well as the exercise, I like that it takes you off the beaten track – great fun!

Catherine (@MummyLion)

am i supposed to comment here or on their facebook about my favourite green exercise? oh well everyones commenting here so…i love to do my daily mutu exercises in my garden, and to take my dog and son on lovely walks here there and everywhere. my son is at the stage where i’m often running to keep up, and he loves running up and down steep slopes, which i have found to be very good exercise!


Thanks Catherine, yes, you’ve left your comment in the correct place. :) Mutu, sounds interesting, I’d be interested to know more and I love the fact that your son’s new found skill of walking is keeping you on your toes ;)


My favourite green exercise is good, old-fashioned, simple running! No ipods, gps apps or other hi-tech nic-nacs, just me, and the pavement :-)


Walking is the best. With my baby it’s the easiest exercise for me to find time for as well


Thanks for this post, I love walking but not in the city. So it’s good to have a list of locations to explore. I frankly miss walking in the fresh air! Plus this is going to be a pleasant change from my BeachBody dvds. I mean they are great fun but I can’t wait to run for miles outdoors.

Walking / Jogging! :)

Christine Bray

I adore yoga and weather permitting I take my mat into the back garden and to the amazment of my two dogs and all the birds in the trees I do my sun salute and downward facing dog in the morning sunshine!


How fantastic Christine, hopefully we’ll have more sunny mornings soon for you to enjoy your morning yoga. Fingers crossed :)

Wendy Lam

If anyone ask me what my hobbies is, it’s walking. But I walk not even for exercising but just because I really enjoy to especially in London when someimes it’s quicker than taking the bus. With so many sights to see, going from residential to commerical to touristy areas- London is a pretty place to walk around. I love walking across the Thames from St Pauls down to Westminister through to Victoria and down back through St James park to Trafalgar Square, to Soho and then to Russell Square round to Holborn and all the way down to Farringdon where I live. Yep it can take up to four hours with a bit of window shopping but I love it ^^.


Sounds wonderful Wendy and like it said in my article, often with ‘green’ exercise you do more without realising it as you’re engaged with your surroundings. :)


Definitely walking – in the city it’s amazing how far you can get quicker than the car, and it’s environmentally friendly too!

Susanne Temlett

I love running, it’s the fastest way to get fit, it’s cheap and green

Paula Phillips

I take my children on a ‘journey of discovery’. This is a long walk through my local forest where we look out for interesting things, it helps keep us all fit.

michaela britton

i just enjoy walking, even in the rain, i get raincover on the pram, wellies n big coat on our son and go walking oh n play in the puddles lol

mandy waller

Jogging is my fav exercise although i do mix it up with step aerobics and weights


My favourite green exercise is cycling locally down the lanes and enjoying the scenery :)


I love walking and do around twenty miles a week – although I confess that the rain puts me off!


Gotta be walking, I like to walk hills and push myself to the point that my legs ache!

Ali Thorpe

My fave green exercise is taking long, brisk walks, and it’s a great way to keep in touch with your local areas too.


I do lots of bike riding with my children, it’s nice having family time and keeps us all fit!


zumba it certainly uses every muscle and works you out all over and you deffenitly need a sports bra if your well built like me : o


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