The Outside Gyms In Watford

gyms in watford

The Outside Gyms In Watford

At Watford Boot Camps, sessions are held outdoors regardless of the weather. If it is sunny then we get a little bit tanned, in winter we wrap up warmer and if it rains, we get wet! We don’t have the man made environment like many gyms in Watford to shelter us from nature and that suits us just fine, most of the time…

My name is Fiona Snailham and I am a personal trainer in Watford. I set up Watford Boot Camps at the start of July and so far the weather has been kind.  It’s lots of fun to exercise outside when it’s sunny, right?  Now we’re heading into autumn: it’s getting chillier and is dark when we arrive in the mornings.  Some of the team have expressed concerns about carrying on outside as the weather starts to change.

Here are the top 5 reasons I have given them as to why it is good to exercise outside, regardless of the weather:

  •  You use more energy: your body works best at 37°C and will regulate to keep itself at this constant temperature.  When we exercise outside, we’re exposed to the elements and our bodies have to work harder to keep us cool (in summer) or to warm us up (in winter).  The work the body does to control its own thermostat will take extra energy, so you’ll be burning slightly more calories by the mere fact of being outside than you would in when exercising in the regulated climate of the gym.
  • You get added Vitamin D: we get most of our vitamin D from sunlight.  This vitamin regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that are important for healthy bones and teeth.  If you are exercising outside, particularly between April and October (in the UK) then you’ll be building up your vitamin D stores – you don’t get that from the artificial lighting above the weights rack!
  • Additional ‘feel good’ factor: it’s likely that your parents/grandparents told you to ‘go and play outside, the fresh air is good for you’.  Well, the science seems to prove exactly that. A 2011 study compared studies in which groups performed the same exercises, some outside and some inside.  Scientists looked at the physical and mental well being outcomes of the two groups – the group who exercised outdoors noted higher energy levels and greater decrease in ‘tension, confusion anger and depression’.  They also reported ‘greater enjoyment and satisfaction’ and declared themselves more likely to continue the exercise programme than those who performed the indoor workouts. [1]
  •  No machines: lots of people use weight machines in the gym – used correctly, some are very good. Unfortunately, most of the machines your find in many gyms in Watford are made to set widths/heights.  If you do not fit the ‘standard’ size of user then you may have to distort your posture and force your joints out of their correct alignment in order to perform the exercise – even if you have adjusted the equipment to get a better ‘fit’.  There are no machines at Watford Boot Camps – we all do the same multi joint exercises (using our body weight for resistance) at the same time, with fully qualified personal trainers watching us to make sure we’re using correct form.
  • Stronger ankles and tighter abs: whether you work out in a park or in the garden, natural environments rarely offer a flat surface.  Your brain wants to keep you upright on unstable ground and so you’ll sub-consciously engage your core (for balance) and recruit lots of tiny muscles in your ankles (to prevent yourself going over to one side when you hit a bump in the grass).  Result: tighter tummy and stronger ankles


If you’re still not convinced enough to sign up today, then why not come to our free taster week and see what you think when you’ve done a session.  You’ll get all the above benefits in a fat busting interval session plus the fun of working out for a week with some really awesome people!


[1] A publically available outline of the study can be viewed in science daily