Get a Vitamin D boost by moving your workout outside

The autumn may be fast approaching, but there is still time to make the most of the September sunshine. Vitamin D is one of the most underrated vitamins – it helps stave off depression, improves sleep patterns, prevents osteoporosis and promotes bone growth, and boosts your immune system. Although supplements are widely available, there is no substitute for good old fashioned sunlight. So slather on the sunscreen, step out the door and move your workout regime outside for the last few weeks of sunshine.
 

Work your core in the great outdoors


The great thing about core exercises is that you can do them pretty much anywhere. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a flat surface and a timer. Go out into your garden or local park and spend 20-30 minutes on alternating sets of sit ups, v ups, Russian twists, bicycle crunches, planks, squats, and anything else you can think of.


Warm up en route to the gym



We could all do with a bit of extra fitness motivation. Well, what if we told you that you could shave ten minutes off your time in the gym, without changing your workout? Simply walk or cycle to and from the gym instead of taking the car. Treat your gym commute as your warm up and cool down, and when you arrive at the gym you can go straight into your regular cardio or weights routine without spending time on a five minute warm up beforehand. This works best if your gym is within 10-20 minutes of your home or office. If not, take a bus or car part of the way and walk the rest.


Supercharge your hike by berry picking



Hiking is one of the most enjoyable ways that you can exercise outside, but you can combine exercise with nutrition by giving your hike a berry picking theme. Blackberries, blueberries and rosehips are practically falling off the bushes at this time of the year. Dark berries are packed full of vitamins and minerals, and best of all, these wild berries are free AND organic! Hike up the southern side of a hill or mountain to find the juiciest berries, and wear gloves to protect your hands from the thorns and nettles. Carry as many berries as you can carry, wash them well and freeze them in sandwich bags so you have a fresh stock of organic berries all winter.


Try your hand at wild swimming



The wild swimming craze has swept the country over the past couple of years. Hardcore fans will swim in the wild at any time of the year, but for newbies, September is the best month to dip your toe in the water, so to speak. Head for the coast and splash around in the sea, or embark on an adventure to find your very own rock pool or mountain lake. Make sure to only swim on safe beaches, and never go wild swimming by yourself.


Take up a new sport



It’s always good to try new things, and if one of those new things is a sport, all the better! While the weather is still good, take up horse riding, archery, fishing, boxing, rowing or even Ultimate Frisbee. You may discover something you truly love, and even if you don’t, at least you’ve had some fun in the sun.


Just sit and see



When was the last time you just sat outside and watched the sun go down? Late summer produces some incredible sunsets which can last for an hour or more. Take some time to yourself, find a quiet spot outside and simply sit silently and watch one of the daily miracles of our collective life. Let your troubles go down with the setting sun as you soak in the last few drops of vitamin D and breathe in the evening air. Make time to do this just once a month and you will be happier and more relaxed in no time.
 

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