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Exercising Outdoors During Lockdown

running on road surface

New research launched has revealed that with gyms and leisure facilities currently closed, two-thirds of Britons are going outdoors to exercise regularly this winter.

However, many are deterred by factors such as icy, cold conditions and concerns for their safety.

The survey of 2,000 respondents, revealed how many in the UK are very new to outdoor exercise, with 31% taking it up for the first time in their lives during lockdown, to ensure they stay active.

However, 58% cited the cold weather, 32% the dark evenings and 27% safety concerns in their area, were all big factors that are preventing them from exercising regularly this winter.

The research by leisure operator Better was supported by further analysis of search volume data, which determined the areas in the UK where people were most keen on outdoor exercise.

The research found that Leicester was the city searching the most for phrases like “winter running equipment”, “how to exercise outdoors” and “outdoor exercise tips”, with Swansea and Sunderland following close behind.

The data highlights the ambition for those across the UK to remain active during these difficult times, but also underlines the many obstacles they face; such as weather conditions, lack of equipment, limited daylight and worries about safety. However, of those surveyed, 79% said they will go for regular walks, 36% go running, and 27% go cycling throughout the winter lockdown.

To provide the UK population with some tips on how to make the most of their outdoor exercises despite the winter conditions, Better spoke to some elite athletes to understand how they are coping with the lockdown and how they stay fit and healthy outdoors.

Jake Sheaf is part of Team GB’s Beach Volleyball team and said, “I like to keep my winter workouts short and sharp, something like a 45-minute HIIT and alternating between a cardio based HIIT on 1 day to a strength based HIIT the next day.”

Team GB triathlete Lucy Charles-Barclay, who is currently the World No. 2, explained her top winter training tip: Factoring the weather conditions into your session plans is key. Long runs or long rides even close to your home in very cold wet weather might be more detrimental than positive on your training.”

She also suggested a novel way of exercising with your training buddy virtually. The survey found how 13% didn’t want to exercise outdoors without their exercise buddy, so Charles-Barclay said: “Although you may not be able to train in the real world with other people why not try setting an online training meet up with a friend.

You will have a strong reason to make sure the session happens, and you can push each other as well as have a great time catching up with a friend.”

More information can be found here: Winter Training Tips