As the temperature rises and the sun begins to (finally) shine, now is the perfect time to start building a new, healthy routine - especially if you’ve spent the winter working from home behind a computer screen.
In fact, exercise is one of the most powerful tools we have for staying physically and mentally healthy - and you don’t need access to a gym or expensive health club to reap the rewards.
Read on to discover our top tips to help you embrace a healthy, active lifestyle.
1. Get outside to reap the rewards
Fresh air and beautiful scenery; exercising outside is good for your body and mind, no matter the time of year. Whether it’s a brisk walk to get in your 10k steps, a game of tennis in the park or a vigorous Park Run on a Saturday morning, getting out of your own home and away from the gym is a great, free way to change up your routine.
If you’re heading out this summer, just remember to slather on the suncream, bring water to quench your thirst and wear appropriate breathable fabrics.
2. Create a convenient indoor workout area
With a little creativity and the right equipment, you can create the perfect home gym. Whether you opt for a large mirror to check your form, cardio machines, weights or even if you just clear some space to follow some no-equipment videos online, having a dedicated workout space makes it easier to get motivated.
Plus, you can invest in specialised equipment such as a Peloton or T-ReX.
3. Track your workouts for extra motivation
While it may seem obvious, it’s important to track your workout. Recording your information will help you determine a balanced exercise routine, focusing on different parts of your body. It also enables you to be accountable for your progress and will motivate you to stay on track.
There are a number of different apps which can help track your progress. Strava, the social network is great for runners and cyclists, Jefit is a go-to for learning new workouts, Gymaholic is a fitness app that uses augmented reality to help imagine you’re in a class, while MyFitnessPal is perfect for tracking calories, whatever the meal.
4. Build more movement into your regular day
Struggling to make time in your day to the gym and shower? Why not try stretching for five minutes in the morning, squatting while you brush your teeth or taking your phone calls whilst standing? Don’t stop there – while you are working, you could try a standing desk and be sure to always take the stairs.
If you’re commuting into the office, you can opt for getting off a stop earlier and walking the distance, or making sure you get out for a lunchtime walk to enjoy the fresh air.
5. Combine the commute with a workout
You don’t have to hit the gym to raise your heart rate. Why not try running or cycling to work? Take advantage of your office’s storage, leave the laptop at work and run home and back the next morning. The added bonus: there’s no temptation to work late, meaning an even healthier lifestyle for you and your loved ones.
Or opt for London’s Santander Cycles, which allow you to hop on and off at a moment’s notice. This cost-effective and efficient commute also has zero emissions. It’s a win win.
6. Introducing inspirational Ottilie
This summer, we’re delighted to be sponsoring Ottilie Quince on The Grand Tour charity ride; The London Square OQ Vuelta A Casa. After receiving a life saving kidney transplant from her Mum in 2007, Ottilie has won 11 World, 6 European & 18 British cycling gold medals representing Great Britain at the World Transplant Games.
The cycle ride aims to raise a total of £20,000 for two amazing charities; UCARE (Urology Cancer Research and Education) and The Urology Foundation.
Additionally, Ottillie aims to encourage more people to ride bikes, lead a healthy lifestyle, and to prove no matter what health issues or chronic illnesses you have, you can achieve many amazing things.
The Grand Tour starts in Ottilie’s home town of Luton, and will see her cycle to Mallorca in 21 days, covering over 2,500 kilometres across 7 countries.
Your chance to win
To celebrate Ottilie Quince and her mission, we’re offering you the chance to win a £100 Decathlon gift voucher. To enter, you can find all the instructions on our latest Instagram Post.
Always seek your physician’s advice if you have any underlying health conditions and if you feel pain during an activity, STOP.