If you find yourself tiring of the gym, it’s time to take a new approach to exercise. Embrace the (generally!) good weather of the summer months and head to a fitness class outdoors. Here in Southampton, we are lucky enough to have the green space of the Common and we’re also in fairly close proximity to the coast. Whatever your interests and level of fitness, there is something to suit everyone.
1. British Military Fitness
If you fancy a challenge, a British Military Fitness class is ideal for you. The classes are led by former or serving members of the military and boast a training programme based on exercises used to improve and maintain the level of fitness of those in the British Army, the Navy and the RAF.
Although a ‘bootcamp style’ class brings to mind the idea of being shouted at by a fierce instructor, BMF classes are designed to help all participants, regardless of their previous level of fitness. You also don’t need expensive equipment to take part. BMF say:
‘You’ll perform a wide range of individual, partner and team speed, strength, agility and stamina exercises – all tried and tested by the military.The types of exercises we will ask to you to are bodyweight exercises like push ups, squats, star jumps and burpees, interspersed with running and competitive games. It will be a lot like the PE classes you did at school.’
Classes take place at 6.30pm every Tuesday and Thursday and at 8am every Saturday at Southampton Common. For more information or to book a class, visit the BMF website.
2. Yoga on the Beach
Located only a short train journey away from Southampton in Bournemouth, Yoga on the Beach classes are designed to help you exercise, but also to relax, while making the most of the beautiful natural scenery around you. In addition to yoga fans, those who take part in other sports such as running are also encouraged to head to a session to ensure they have stretched properly following intense exercise.
Yoga on the Beach say:
‘With the sound of the sea and the birds singing in the background, the open clear blue skies overhead and the fresh clean Atlantic sea air to breathe, this is the ideal place to practice your yoga. Our Hatha fitness yoga sessions focus on practical body flexibility, core strength and balance.’
Classes take place on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings between 6-7pm and every Friday morning from 7-8am, meeting on the beach between the piers outside the Surfsteps building. For more information, visit the Holistic Body Training website.
3. Adventure Boot Camp
Located at Southampton Common, Adventure Boot Camp classes promise to make exercise fun. With ‘adventure’ in the title, it’s guaranteed to go beyond the average aerobics class!
Adventure Boot Camp say:
‘The classes incorporate obstacle courses, resistance training, short distance running, yoga, Boxercise and much more. An average Boot Camper will decrease their body fat by 3 -5%, improve their endurance by 25%, increase strength by 25%, and improve their posture and relaxation skills.’
There’s also no fitness benchmark required to participate, so everyone is invited to join in. You will need the following equipment:
- exercise mat
- small hand weights (2-3kg)
- water bottle
- running shoes (not cross-trainers, walking shoes or MBTs)
Female only classes take place in the morning and mixed sessions are run in the evening. For more information, visit the Adventure Boot Camp website.