Summer has finally hit the UK. We have blue skies, warm weather, and while most of us would like to be sat in a beer garden with a nice cold glass of Pimms, we’re stuck in offices or summer schools.
Though we have the evenings, most of us still find ourselves on the sofa at 8pm, settling down to the latest installment of Eastenders.
Meanwhile, the thought of donning a swimming costume for your trip to Greece in a couple of months fills you with dread.
Now, I’m not suggesting you fling yourself at the nearest gym screaming “Make me skinny!”. No one wants to be dripping sweat on the treadmill in a 35 degree gym when you could be getting a tan. I’m suggesting you make the most of this weather, get out in the sun, and get fit the fun way!
Here are 5 great ways to get fit without even trying:
1 – Walking
Walking is one of the simplest ways to tone up, and one of the easiest things to incorporate into your daily routine. If you live within a 40 minute walk of your work, ditch the bus or car, wake up a little earlier, and get your legs working! It’ll set you up for the day, and make you feel a damn side more awake than a cup of coffee. Equally, walking home is a great way to unwind and let go of the stresses of the day.
If walking to work would mean getting up at 4am, try going for a walk in the evenings, instead of hitting the sofa. Just 30 minutes up and down some hills can make a difference. And don’t forget about it at the weekend – try walking to town instead of driving, or hunting out the nearest National Trust trails for a great Sunday afternoon.
2 – Swimming
Swimming is a great way to get fit – it works every muscle in your body, and what’s better on a hot summer’s day than a dip in a cool pool? If you have a leisure centre near you, try going in the evenings after work, or in the mornings to wake you up for the day – give it a week and I guarantee you you’ll be looking forward to chilling out in the water.
For the weekend, hunt out your nearest outdoor pool, or take a trip to the seaside and really enjoy the sun.
3 – Rounders
Yes, I’m talking about the only fun thing you used to do in PE. Instead of hanging out in a beer garden, get a group of friends together down your local park and crack out the bats and balls! Rounders doesn’t take much setting up, but it’ll get you moving and having fun at the same time. It’s not something you can do every day but its great exercise for the weekend.
4 – Cycling
Cycling is another great way to get your muscles moving in the summer. Now, you can go out, buy a $1000 mountain bike and full cycling garb if you like, but there’s no need to at all. I’m sure you already have a bike stashed away in the garden shed, and if you don’t, there’s plenty of places you can hire them.
Instead of spending the weekends lying around in your garden, grab your bike and make a day out of it. Pack a picnic, map out some cycle routes through the countryside, or just see where your bike takes you.
5 – Tennis
One of the most quintessentially British sports, tennis is a great way to keep fit. Don’t worry if you’re no good, the idea is to have fun, and it’s a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I’d recommend getting down to your nearest park with tennis courts – I don’t think your neighbors would be too pleased with a ball through their kitchen window…
About the author: Elise Lévêque is an ambitious freelance translator with a passion for anything and everything social media. She can often be found sipping on a latté and updating her status in a boutique coffee shop, or wandering the city with her camera on the hunt for the newest piece of controversial art. There are few things she loves more than her freedom, except possibly her Siamese cat! She currently writes for Keele Conference.
Photo credit: Simon Thomas