Well, not anymore. The brilliant Fiona Doggett has compiled an outdoor fitness trail, mapping the best outdoor workout areas in London. They all offer equipment that you can hang, swing, balance and jump on, allowing you to work any muscle you wish all in the glorious outdoors. The best part? They're all completely free!
So far there are 13 outdoor workout areas on the map, each with a rating out of ten and suggestions of how to use the equipment. Brilliantly, each review also includes the nearest cafe for that post-workout cake stop.
You'd be forgiven for previously walking past these fitness areas, as they look suspiciously like playgrounds but that's essentially what they are. Strength training should be fun and playful, just like running or cycling. Turning a park into your gym will bring out your inner child and you'll be playing in no time, not even realising you're working hard.
Our favourite obstacle was the monkey bars. A familiar piece of park equipment from our childhoods, and much harder than we remembered! The frame offered all sorts of challenges from pull-ups to swinging along the bars. We even added a little competition by hanging on the bars for as long as possible whilst facing each other, one on each end of the frame.
We spent just a few minutes playing but this mini session added something extra to our run, not just a pause for breath, but valuable strength training. Achey muscled the next day, we could feel that we'd been worked but don't remember trying very hard. Success! A strength session that's so fun you don't even know you're doing it!
Check out the Outdoor Fitness Trails map, here.