10 quirkier ways to get active this spring
1. Go on a vineyard tour
If the last time you spent more than an hour outdoors was pre-internet, use the promise of plonk to break your bad habit. There are hundreds of vineyards across the UK, many of which offer tours. Not sure where to start? Here’s your answer.
2. Explore the countryside on horseback
Some people see horse riding as an elitist hobby. It’s not. Thousands of stables offer lessons for cheap. After all, horses need exercise too. And we promise that taking in the British countryside from the vantage point of a horse is a spectacular, weirdly addictive experience. It will also help to keep your legs super-toned, boost your balance and improve your posture. Saddle up!
3. Go on a bike ride (with someone)
Unless you’re below the age of sixteen or a Lycra-covered cycling addict, chances are it’s been a while since you enjoyed the simple pleasure of going for a bike ride with someone. That’s a shame. There’s something ceaselessly exhilarating about swapping two feet for two wheels, especially when you do it with someone else. It’s also great for your fitness. So grab your special someone or your best pal and get to it.
4. Sort your garden out
Bag the bragging rights at your summer BBQs by sorting your garden out. It doesn’t matter how small your space is, putting in the legwork is rewarding. Really, really rewarding. Gardening also involves walking, bending, stretching and lifting – lots of isotonic and isometric contractions – all of which have a positive knock on effect for your health. Fetch your trowel and make something beautiful.
5. Hit the coastline
The UK’s coastline is one of the most dramatically beautiful anywhere on Earth. And you know what they say, you’re never more than seventy or so miles from it. With the temperatures warming up and the weather improving, spring is a great time for strolling the countless miles of coastal paths that hug our shores. Or if you want more of a challenge, zip up a wetsuit and go caving. It doesn’t cost much and exhilarates while it fascinates.
6. Be a guest of the National Trust
There’s more to the National Trust than epic castles and stately homes. They are also the loyal guardians of some of the UK’s prettiest gardens and most beautiful walks: some of the greatest of the great outdoors. And as Mother Nature awakes from her winter slumber, what better time to explore it? Whether it’s the call of the cuckoo or the unmistakable woodland scent of wild garlic, spring is a carnival for the senses. Find somewhere special near you.
7. Go to the park with a pal and a Frisbee
It doesn’t get much simpler. The only equipment you need is a Frisbee. And they cost about £2. A simple, calorie-shedding pleasure for a sunny evening that is bound to make you feel good. Assuming you can throw the thing. You can, can’t you?
8. Give it some paddle-power
There are hundreds of rivers and lakes across the UK where you can climb into a boat or a kayak and bobble along. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll be giving yourself a serious upper-body workout. Relaxing, fun and easier than it looks. Promise.
9. Hit the courts
Every summer Wimbledon fever strikes and it’s impossible to find a free court anywhere. Beat the rush and brush off your backhand now. Most clubs welcome amateurs and there are plenty of public courts sprinkled around the UK’s towns and cities too. The stop-start nature of tennis provides a great cardiovascular workout and you’ll keep your motor skills tip-top too. Get out there and smash it.
10. Join a military boot camp
You want to get in shape. But you lack the discipline. Well nothing motivates you to push it on those press-ups like an ex-marine barking orders at you. Military boot camps have surged in popularity over the last five years. You may have seen them in your local park. Essentially a qualified fitness professional from the Armed Forces guides you through a programme of activities including cardio training, strength training, teamwork and high intensity interval training. There are classes across the UK for all levels of fitness. Find your nearest.
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