Simple Exercises To Do Outside Now That It’s Actually British Summer Time

No gym? No problem? Zanna Van Dijk helped us out with some super easy workouts you can do at the park at the end of your road you normally use to booze in

Simple Exercises To Do Outside

by Jazmin Kopotsha |
Published on

It’s about this time of year when many of us suddenly realise that we haven’t actually attended that gym we signed up to back in January and oops, we haven’t actually been all that active either. This, my friends, is the story of my exercise-reluctant life.

If any of you have been following my fitness adventures with our wonderful Social Media Editor, Alyss, on Debrief Does, you’ll already be very aware that I’m not one to voluntarily don the lycra and venture out in search of legitimate exercise. Really not my scene. But I am all about making it as easy as humanly possible to get up and do the ‘workout’ thing when the urge does eventually find me.

So, in the spirit of sucking it up without having to trek all the way to that gym you’ve never set foot in, I chatted to personal trainer, fitness blogger and all round exercise superstar, Zanna Van Dijk, to get some tips on easy ways to make the most of the great outdoors.

‘I find outdoor workouts clear my head more than the busy gym environments’, explains Zanna. She’s a big fan of the fresh air and headspace. ‘They are harder to keep up with during the winter due to poor weather and shorter days, so it can be a challenge to motivate yourself to get outdoors’.

But, although the weather seems to have forgotten, it is now officially British Summer Time, so no more blaming that missed training session on it being too dark when you got home from work (unless you work super late into the night rather than a 9-5, then I totally support your decision) or pissing it down with rain. ‘There is no such thing as bad weather... just bad clothing choices!’, Zanna says. ‘Make sure you have the right kit for the season and don't underdress. Wrap up warm in winter and layer up the waterproofs in the rain!’.

Zanna says that getting up and out first might be your best bet. ‘Early morning is ideal as it gets the workout out of the way first thing, meaning you start the day on the right foot!’. If that sounds like your idea of hell, give one of these methods of getting yourself out of bed a try.

And before we go any further, I know what you're thinking. When people say outdoor exercise the first thing that comes to mind is running, but that's not the be all and end all. ‘I think it is also worth noting that running is so much more than jogging', says Zanna, 'You can do stair sprints and hill sprints too to turn it into a HIIT style workout rather than steady state’.

So, if you're on a 'I'm one of those people who runs' come down, want something effective and straightforward to try out and make the most of the extra daylight hours, or are still working through your deep rooted fear of the gym, Zanna has recommended some exercises you can do with just your feet and your neighbourhood park bench out in the open air, as poorly demonstrated by moi.

Push Up – Box Jump Combo

This is a good one to get the ol’ heart rate moving, says Zanna. You go from an inclined push-up, to a little bunny hop towards the bench, to a bigger hop onto the bench.


V-sits its make me sad. They make my ab (yes, singular) very sad but are meant to be really good for your core. You perch on your bum and then extend your legs out and lean back at the same time. I don’t think you’re meant to lean quite as far back as I did on the leg extension bit but my sad ab is written all over my face.

Split Squats

I secretly don’t hate a bum workout. Is that weird? No? Let’s say no. Zanna says the focus here needs to be on getting as deep into your one-legged lunge as possible with as much control as you can.

Mountain Climbers

These were almost fun and I enjoy them as the closest thing I’ll probably ever come to legitimately ‘running’. Just bring one knee to your chest while the other leg is extended and then switch as you bring the bent leg back to the ground. Simples.

Squat Jumps

I thought these would be easy because they involve sitting on the bench for a second but as Zanna says, these will definitely make you sweat. The key thing to remember is that you’ve meant to land from your jump on your feet and then return to perching.

Triceps Dips

Not much to be said for these bad boys really. We all know what they are. We all know what they do. Just try to do it without showing as much visible dismay on your face as I did. Other people in the park will be concerned.

Like this? You might also be interested in…

How To Make Exercise A Legitimate Part Of Your Life

The Home Workout That Will Actually Get You Fit

Exercises You Can Do At Home To Get Your Bum In Gear

Follow Jazmin on Instagram @JazKopotsha

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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