If you’ve been feeling sluggish over the first part of the year, now is the perfect time to get outside and rediscover your fitness, with brighter days and longer, warmer nights combining to create the perfect condition by which you can restore body and mind.
1. Take a hike
The dawning of summer represents a wonderful time for us to surround ourselves in nature as both plant and animal life are born a new. If you’re lucky enough to have access to woodlands or fields, hiking is a wonderful way to gently reinstate your fitness with little risk of injury, whilst seeing and exploring new places. If the terrain feels too much for you, even a brisk walk round your local park offers real benefit ts to your body so long as you maintain a steady pace.
The science: Hiking is a powerful cardio workout that can lower your risk of heart disease, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, boost bone density (since walking is a weight bearing your core and improve balance.
It’s also great for weight control.
2. Jog on
For those with a little more vigour to spare, try starting your day with a gentle jog. There is no personal exercise that tests body and lungs, though sensible repetition will see the challenge seem less on each subsequent time you pull on those trainers. The science: Jogging or running helps you maintain a healthy body weight and boost your immune system. You’ll also sleep better and live longer, while recent research suggests time spent exercising intensely enables the brain to work out problems, making you happier and smarter.
Cycling is invigorating, and life-affirming and can even provide you with a sense of exhilaration.
It’s also a pursuit that can be fiercely personal or totally sociable.
The science: Cycling is brilliant cardiovascular fitness, fi ring increased muscle strength,
flexibility and joint mobility. It also helps posture, strengthens bones and decreases body fat.
4. Just breathe
You don’t have to break in a sweat to do something really positive for your body, and if all you’re looking for is a little peace and quiet, then meditating in nature is about as healing as it gets. All you need is a park bench or garden, with perhaps some chirping birds to provide the perfect soundtrack!
The science: tapping into deep breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s rest and digest. This leads to calmness, rationality and peace of mind.