Are you tired of the gym? Lots of people struggle to get to the gym regularly, if at all, for all sorts of different reasons. There are those who feel intimidated by the gym – they’re afraid they won’t know what to do when they get there, or that they’ll be the most out-of-shape person on the premises; then there are the long-term gym goers who are simply bored of the routine and in search of something new to inject more variety into their workouts, and then there’s a whole group of people who feel it’s just too expensive. Fortunately, whatever your reason for skipping the gym, there is an alternative – and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny. Tristan Lane from TL Toning shares his tips on keeping fit in the fresh air – absolutely free of charge.

Tristan is a huge fan of working out in the park and takes individuals and groups outdoor training in Hemel Hempstead. He told us, “Park training is fun and effective. You can turn the local parks into your own personal gym by using park benches, steps, trees and railings to help you achieve your goal. Climbing frames and bars in the kids’ playground are a great addition to your workout too – when the children aren’t playing there, of course!”

Of course, it’s wonderful to get out in the fresh air when the weather is good, but with autumn and the colder winter days ahead, is it really so appealing? Tristan has this to say, “Now it’s coming up to winter time you’re probably worried about getting cold. Well not to worry, my fun motivational workouts keep you warm throughout the workout. You can do a warm up in your own home to get you started, applying aerobic exercises with plyometrics. Make sure you always stretch, as when its colder tendons and ligaments can become a lot tighter.

Tristan also does park training in St Albans and other locations throughout Hertfordshire. We asked him to give us some of his tips for working out in the park. He told us, “You can do anything from agility training to weight loss and muscular endurance training. Body weight exercises are the best way to get you started for weight loss. Do triceps dips on park benches and pull ups on trees to work biceps; complete about 10-15 reps and 4 sets of each exercise to effectively burn calories and slightly increase the muscle definition. I recommend 3-4 park workouts each week starting with 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular training followed by 20-30 minutes of muscular endurance training or resistance training. Using this method you will lose up to 2-4 pounds each week with a sustained, healthy diet. When resistance training, be sure to work your whole body; include 2-3 exercises for each muscle group. So 2 chest exercises, 2 shoulder, 2 back exercises, 3 abdominal and 3 leg exercises.”

These workout routines can be just as effective as anything that you can do in the gym – only so much more varied and interesting, and that’s what helps to keep you motivated. Not to mention all those expensive gym fees you’ll be saving! Why not give it a try? You’ve got nothing to lose but those excess pounds.

Take steps to fitness success

  • Make the decision START NOW
  • Do something you enjoy and make it fun
  • Make the time – put it in your diary
  • Be prepared. Get your stuff ready the night before
  • Create short term goals. Start small amounts and often
  • Get some new gear. Nice new trainers and jogging trousers
  • You will tone up and look great
  • Always remind yourself of your achievements
  • Look to the future – live longer and healthier

If you are thinking what can I do? Here are some ideas

  1. Walking 3 x per week for 20 mins building up to 30mins. Instead of taking the car or bus walk!
  2. Swimming 2-3 times per week for half an hour, build up starting at 20mins
  3. Games such as badminton, squash, tennis, football, netball and golf
  4. Gym – 3x per week for 1 hour. Make sure you do 10mins warm up followed by 20-25mins cardio work, then cool down with some weights and stretches at the end
  5. Exercise classes, such as aerobics, body conditioning, zumba or jazzercise
  6. Other activity includes housework, gardening ,dancing and decorating


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