Sally Gunnell OBE needs no introduction to most people in Britain. She’s the only British woman ever to have held World, Olympic, Commonwealth and European gold medals simultaneously, going on to a successful career as a television presenter, keynote speaker and wellbeing advocate.
Now Sally has teamed up with online fitness provider, TGO Activate, and National Parks, to create her inclusive course of workouts for our most accessible outdoor activity settings nationwide. The Great Outdoor Workouts with Sally Gunnell and National Parks features interval walking, jogging and bodyweight routines for National Parks. There are also TGO outdoor gym workouts with off-kit (no equipment needed) alternative moves and movement breaks for staying active at home. Sally also gives motivation and wellbeing tips throughout the course. TGO Activate return 33% of the course profits to National Parks for reinvestment in conservation projects.
“When my three kids were young, we used to go camping in the New Forest. We took those breaks away in nature for quite a few years. There were five or six families we went away with regularly. Most of our days we spent walking and cycling in the great outdoors immersing ourselves in nature. We enjoyed seeing the animals and looking up to the tops of those incredible trees. Everyone got covered in mud splashing and sliding through puddles. It was such a wonderful time in our lives.
“Our holidays in the New Forest were all about joy and freedom. It was brilliant to get my three boys so active outside without them realising we were exercising all day. It was a complete break away from being inside on the games console. I remember my youngest, Marley, running around in his nappy and a vest. My boys remember the freedom of it all and feeling so safe. We used to play games like ‘Home’, where a big tree in the forest was base and everyone had to get back there. We all loved the beautiful ponies too.
“After the kids were asleep, the adults would sit and chat with no distractions. We ate and listened to all the night time noises of the forest. Always the first night we’d be up for half of it. But from the second night onwards, after so much activity and fresh air, we’d fall into bed early and sleep so well. It was such a healthy environment for everyone.”
“My activity has changed a lot since my competitive days on the world stage. Today, staying active is as much about my mental wellbeing as my physical health. Like all of us, I just want to feel good about myself and movement is one of my keys to a happy life. I want as many people as possible to make the most of free outdoor activity including in our beautiful National Parks and our TGO gyms nationwide.
“Being outdoors is very good for me mentally. I was out walking yesterday in a National Park near me. I find the whole experience very calming. Whatever is going on, all I need to do is get out into nature and take some time for myself. It never gets boring and it doesn’t really feel like I’m exercising. The weather changes but I always feel like I’m a million miles away from my day-to-day life. There aren’t many places that happens for me.
“So this is why I’ve designed my Great Outdoor Workouts with TGO Activate and National Parks. I want to encourage people of all ages and fitness abilities to get outside more, taking those positive steps together towards improving our health and wellbeing. By combining physical activity with what’s really enjoyable in life, it doesn’t feel like exercise anymore. People can do all my workouts on their own or with friends and family. With my interval walking and jogging routines, there’s the option to extend them – so, you might walk or jog for 20 minutes, stopping off for my bodyweight sequences, or you might continue on for much longer.
“I’ve also built in plenty of variety to my course because even I need to mix up my activity to stay motivated. Not many of us want to follow a repetitive drill! You can pick and choose what suits you and there are three different levels of intensity throughout the course. Whether you’re getting active with me at home, at a TGO gym, park or in a National Park, it’s about progressing at a natural pace towards becoming fitter, healthier and happier. Moving outdoors is just so much more than getting our heart rate up – it’s about developing our mental strength and getting back in touch with the wonder of nature.”