Summer is now here and it's a great time get out of the gym and take advantage of the sunny weather. It's also an easy way to break the boredom that can come from doing the same gym routine all year long. Summer activities can provide enjoyment and entertainment for you and your family while also being good for your heart, lungs, muscles, and bones. If you still haven't gotten into that summer exercise routine yet, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Whether indoors or outdoors, swimming is a form of exercise that is easy on your body. When your body is submerged, the water actually supports some of your body's weight, basically making you lighter. This means that when you walk or move around while in water, there is less impact within the joints. Also, because water provides resistance when you move through it, it allows for the possibility of increasing your strength as well as your endurance.
If there is an outdoor (or indoor) pool near you, ask if they offer any water-based fitness classes. Exercising in the water, as mentioned above, helps to protect your joints from some of the impact of land exercise and can help you to develop strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness.
Canoeing or Kayaking
Both canoeing and kayaking are low impact activities that involve paddling a small boat over the water. Both activities can help to improve your cardiovascular and muscular fitness and can be done alone, with others, casually or competitively.
Paddle boarding is an activity that has recently become very popular. It is a very low impact activity that can help to improve your overall strength, core stability, and balance. It also has the added benefit of being a relaxing activity, which is important for good mental health.
Always a favourite in the low-impact activity category, riding a bicycle is a fantastic way to improve and maintain your cardiovascular health, spend time with others, and see the sights that your area has to offer. If you're not comfortable being on a bike near traffic, look for some trails and bike paths – this information is often included in city tourism brochures and websites.
Rollerblading, or inline skating, is an inexpensive summer activity that can help to improve coordination, balance, and aerobic endurance. Many cities have wide shared bike paths that are ideal for rollerblading and are separated from traffic. If you want to try something new, why not buy some inline skates!
Depending on the type of hiking that you choose to do, it can be either a high or low impact activity. Sticking to public trails in tree-covered areas is a fantastic way to stay out of the direct heat and get cardiovascular exercise. It's also a great way to explore nature with your family.
Walking is the most basic form of exercise that can be done almost anywhere. A current trend is pole-walking, also called Nordic walking. Look for walking groups in your area, go walking with a friend, or take the whole family out for a stroll.
Outdoor fitness classes
Looking for something different? Check out the local gyms in your area and the listings for private personal trainers to see if outdoor classes are being offered. You will likely find anything from gentle Tai Chi or yoga to high-intensity boot camps. Depending on your preferences, you should be able to find something that suits your fitness goals.
For long term health, try to aim for at least 30 minutes per day of cardiovascular activities and some form of strengthening exercises at least 2 or 3 days per week. No matter what activities you choose to do, just remember that the most important thing is just to get out there and get moving.