I could go on and on about how much I love summer, but one of the biggest reasons is the opportunity to be active outside. Whether you’re enjoying the outdoors to burn calories or for the sheer fun of it, take advantage of this season’s warmer weather and longer daylight hours! Sitting all day is being considered just as big of a risk factor for heart disease as smoking is. Many of my suggested activities are great for cardiovascular health and even better … can be performed free of charge!
Walking. This is one of the easiest forms of exercise. You can find nice, smooth pavements to walk on by hitting up your local park or bike trail. Have you ever tried walking during sunrise? It’s quite peaceful and can help start your day off on a positive note. Don’t forget your beloved furry friends need their exercise too!
Riding bikes. This is another low-cost method for enjoying the outdoors while improving your fitness. My husband and I recently had the opportunity to ride through a beautiful botanical garden when traveling this summer. Riding a bike can be a great way to exercise for those that cannot take the impact on their knees from walking or jogging.
Water skiing. All forms of water sports are excellent for strengthening your back muscles. If you’re going to be out in the sun all day, remember to pack a hat, sunscreen and multiple water bottles.
Hiking. If you really need to escape from the stress of day-to-day life, then I highly recommend finding a local state park to go for a hike. Being closer to Mother Nature can have very calming and meditating effects. Skip the iPod and just enjoy the soothing sounds of nature.
Mowing the lawn. As strangely as it sounds, one of my favorite chores as a kid was mowing the lawn. Did you know that most people can burn at least 200 calories when using a push-mower to mow their lawn? (Assuming it takes you longer than 30 minutes to mow your lawn)
Paddle boarding. This is one of the newest “it” summer activities to do. Stand up paddle boarding aka SUP is an awesome workout for your arms and core. When we went paddle boarding in the ocean, we were able to see wild dolphins and manatees swimming right around us!
Kayaking. This is a great activity that people of all fitness levels can enjoy. Since you’re seated, it is much easier to stay balanced on the water. Many marinas and docks rent out kayaks. Can you think of a better way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning?
Running through a sprinkler. This one is just plain darn fun and you don’t need kids as an excuse to do it!
Working out in the park. You can go to the gym any time during the year, but you can only enjoy workouts in the park when the weather is nice. Use the monkey bars for pull-ups and a bench for dips, step-ups or box jumps. Add a few sprints, air squats and burpees and you’ll have a total body workout in no time!
Outdoor sports. Summer is great time to join a recreation league such as softball, sand volleyball or tennis. Being active + socializing is a great way to end a long stressful day on a positive note.