Outdoor bootcamp can makeover your body and mind

Most women are reluctant to exercise outside because they are worried about looking unattractive in their exercise gear. That’s according to results of a charity poll, which looks at body confidence and self esteem.

Mental health charity Mind point out that exercising outdoors is often prescribed as a therapy to boost mood – but fear of being seen red in the face was a concern for 60% of those polled, while 50% of the 1,450 women said they did not want to be spotted in daylight, so exercise early morning or late at night.

“We all know walking, cycling, even gardening are good for our mental health,” said Beth Murphy, the head of information at Mind. “However, for many of us, exercising outdoors can be incredibly daunting, especially if you are already feeling low and your self-confidence is at rock bottom.

“We urge women to take the first step, invite a friend on a nature date and begin to support each other in taking care of our mental wellbeing.”

Case study: Forest Fit Club

Fancy heading into the great outdoors this summer? Forest Fit Club run outdoor sessions in Meyrick Park or Ringwood, meeting by Moyles Court school. Sessions are available at part of a group, women-only or men-only, and they also run regular five-day body blitz packages, featuring up to five hours of exercise a day with the option to purchase calorie-controlled meals and snacks. See the website for more info.

Our tester attended Forest Fit Club for one week, while also following the recommended diet. “I can understand women having concerns about exercising outside but it’s easier as part of a group,” she said. “Joe and the team are excellent at keeping people of all fitness levels together and pushed to the max, so you don’t have to worry about getting left behind. In terms of mental health, it’s a huge boost to push yourself through the session and see real results.”

Before: 10 stone 6, waist 32 inches
After: 10 stone 1, waist 30 inches



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Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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