Skip the gym this summer and take advantage of all the outdoors has to offer to work your body. Sometimes it can be difficult to motivate yourself to exercise, especially if you are doing the same routine again and again. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or something you ‘have to do’; especially if you start thinking outside the box. Here are 6 fun summer workouts and helpful tips for the whole family to get the most out of summer activities.
Go to the Beach
I love going to the beach and not just for the obvious reasons. I love going to the beach because I can get a full body workout and not even realize I am doing it. Bringing a friend or your dog and a Frisbee is an easy way to work out almost every muscle and laugh while you do it. Running through the sand is like running with weights on your ankles and according to the Journal of Experimental Biology, “walking on sand requires 1.6-2.5 times more mechanical work than walking on a hard surface at the same speed.” If you add in stretching your body to throw and catch the Frisbee, aerobically you’re ahead of the game over that repetitive treadmill.
Taking advantage of nature is a surefire hit to working different muscles. Not only is it pleasurable for the psyche to be immersed in new and calming surroundings, but, the terrain can accentuate your usual regimen through cross training. Also, you can go at your own pace, hiking tones every part of your body, reduces stress and being outdoors more in a relaxed environment has been proven to boost your mood.
This is an easy way to get out into the open air and enjoy the day as you burn those calories away. And burn those calories is exactly what you do, a whopping 800 calories to be exact per hour. Turns out all that side to side moving works out your core, legs and butt more than the straight forward motion of walking or running without all the pressure on your knees and joints.
Go Out for a Night of Dancing Fun
According to the USDA’s physical activity guidelines, “adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily. Dance is a moderate activity which will raise the heart rate to burn calories and it is fun. It’s easier to stick to an ‘exercise’ routine when it is fun and does not feel like you’re exercising.Since dancing is a weight bearing execise, it helps to build bones and helps build upper and lower body strength.
Dance can challenge your mind as well as your muscles. Frequent dancers had a reduced risk of dementia compared with those who rarely or never danced.
Dancing may also lower your chances of dementia by:
- Increasing blood flow to the brain
- Helps to ease stress, depression and loneliness
- Challenges the brain as you memorize steps and work with a partner, as well as learning a new skill
- Find a teacher who understands your limits
- Don’t be a perfectionist, just enjoy yourself
Go for a Swim
This is the perfect time to grab your suit and head down to your local pool or watering hole and not only cool your body down from the hot sun but give yourself a full body workout using muscles you don’t usually use in the gym. One of the best parts about swimming is it naturally contracts your stomach muscles working your core, so you don’t have to think about holding your stomach in. Swimming is also easier on your joints and muscles with no jerky motions like running can cause. You can choose to do laps or invite some friends and have an impromptu aerobics class.
Take a Stroll
Decide to take your walking outside instead of the run of the mill treadmill. Make this into a fun cross training workout with enjoyable scenery as you climb hills, throwing some lunges and squats in there for maximum butt and thigh action, take advantage of stairs and end it all with some sit-ups and then a nice stretch under the sun with the smell of fresh grass all around.
Exercise doesn’t have to be in the gym, it can be anywhere you get your body moving and heart rate up for at least 30 minutes or more. Whichever summer workout you choose: have fun, get your groove on and take advantage of the nice weather while you can.