Summer is officially here so now is the time to get outside and enjoy the many different benefits of Natures Gym. Improving overall happiness, health, mindfulness, strength and focus makes ditching the gym a no brainer and this year Merrell have launched their #NaturesGym campaign to help you.

We caught up with brand ambassador, Sports and Exercise Medicine consultant and NHS Inform ambassador Dr Andrew Murray to get his top tips on essential things to do when preparing for an outdoor workout.

Essential things to do when preparing for an outdoor workout…

1) X Marks the Spot

The first thing you need to do to prepare for an outdoor workout is figure out where you can do one. If you’re lucky enough to have access to woods and fields great, but if you’re in the city why not try your local park or your back garden?  Even better, why not sign up to Our Parks – a brand new initiative bringing FREE, group exercise classes, led by experienced, fully qualified and insured instructors, to parks near you (

2) Embracing the Elements

The biggest reason people choose to exercise indoors instead of outdoors is to avoid bad weather. Working out in different temperatures is actually really good for your body- and real extremes of temperature are pretty unusual in the UK.  Natural environments provide more challenging, complex, varied and intense stimulants and being in natural sunlight is also a great way to boost your levels of Vitamin D.

3) All of the Gear

Having the right kit is another essential part of preparing to workout in Natures Gym. Moisture wicking tops are great for when you work up a sweat, while shorts or leggings give you freedom to move when and where you want. Finding the right footwear is also really important, so look for grip, support and cushioning. Merrell’s Natures Gym range includes a whole variety of different products that will equip you with everything you need to tackle the different terrains.

4) Safety First

If you’re heading into the great outdoors, having the right kit is also important for your safety. But also let someone know where you’re going and how long you intend to be. Avoid going out unsecure places when it’s dark and make sure you have an easy way to get home.

5) Plan your workout

There’s nothing worse than getting changed, getting out the door and psyching yourself up for a great session to find that you can’t remember what you wanted to do. Planning your session is a great way to stay focussed and make sure you include exercises that will help you reach your goals. Body weighted moves like squats, burpees, lunges and pull ups (on a tree branch) work just as well outdoors as they do in the gym.


Dr Andrew Murray (@docandrewmurray) Merrell Brand Ambassador, Ultra-Endurance athlete, and Consultant in Sport and Exercise, University of Edinburgh.