Ahhhh, summer! With the hot weather, longer days and lots of fresh air... make the most of the season by turning your tired indoor fitness routine into creative outdoor workouts wherever you live or vacation.
Whether you're at the lake, in the mountains, on the beach, or at the pool, here's how to stay fit this summer - perfect exercises for every age!
::Fitness at the Lake::
Taking the family to the lake this summer? Great! Where I'm from, going to the lake is a weekly thing, but it usually has nothing to do with fitness.
It usually looks like a group of people sitting around the lake drinking beer and eating while watching others enjoy the water. However, water is the perfect place to exercise in the heat and humidity of summer!
Swimming or treading water is a great way to work the cardiovascular system. Lots of people go to the lake to go boating or jet skiing. If you are boating, go out to an area, stop the boat and anchor, and do some swimming.
Swimming is such a wonderful exercise where you can't tell you are working too hard, but your body is getting an incredible workout. No need to sweat, just jump in and have fun with your family and friends.
Don't get caught up in the idea that exercise has to be a consistent 30 minutes. Recreational activities can also be exercise and doing something is better than nothing. Ten minutes or so a few times throughout the day will definitely add up.
Canoeing is another wonderful choice for an all-over body workout. Many lakeside facilities offer rentals and lessons, so scope out the area, borrow a friends, or bring your own for a great way to exercise and sightsee.
If you're unsure of your ability or if it's been a while since you've been in a canoe, don't rule out taking lessons. Just learning will be a workout in itself!
Canoeing is great for the shoulders, but it's also great for your core, obliques, and back.
Just be sure not to always turn the canoe in the same direction. If you're circling the lake, reverse the circle. Row on alternate sides of the boat, or use a longer, double-sided paddle, which makes balancing even easier.
And enjoy the ride! It's different, it's fun and it's a great way to see the lake, from a canoe! It feels good just to be out in nature and listen to the sounds of the water.
Another way to thoroughly enjoy the sights and sounds of the lake while also getting a killer leg workout, is to pedal boat along the shoreline. It's just like riding a bike, only on water and ten times harder!
Ride along with your kids or grandkids, take your lunch with you, stop off at the sandbar and take a swim (get two workouts in one day)...just don't forget to take along the sunscreen!
::Working Out In The Mountains::
Want a whole-body workout in rocky and mountainous terrain? Try pole hiking!
What you'll need are a set of aluminum, rubber-tipped poles and a good pair of hiking shoes. The poles cost between $70 and $100 and are sold at some sporting goods stores.
Using the poles allows you to involve the upper body in activity that mainly works the legs and glutes. You move with quicker, smaller steps, your arms are pumping and it's almost like race-walking. The upper body motion really gets the heart rate going. It's a great way to add some intensity to your hiking.
It's also great for a beginner because using the poles reduces stress on the knees and distributes the body's weight more evenly.
The mountains are a great summer workout location because it's usually shadier and cooler in hilly terrain. Since you'll be gaining altitude, you may notice a drop in temperature as you climb.
Wherever your mountains are, exploring them is a great way to take a workout outdoors and breathe the fresh mountain air.
Take a picnic lunch and hike until you find a view somewhere to spread out, near a pretty steep incline. Relax and have lunch, taking in the view and the scents and sounds of nature. Once you've rested and digested, use the incline to challenge yourself.
If you've got a mountain bike, many areas have miles of dirt trails great for the fat, nubby tires of a mountain bike. Even moderate trail cycling is a great whole-body workout that doesn't feel like exercise.
::Exercise On The Beach::
If you're going to the beach this summer, pack a mask and some fins and snorkel. It's not going to be an intense cardiovascular workout, but it does keep the body moving.
You're using big muscle groups and the fins add increased resistance. It's great work for the back extensors, the lower limbs and the trunk.
See who can find the most interesting, colorful sea life or other underwater treasures. Venture a bit further out so you take more effort to get back to the boat or shore.
If getting in the water is not your thing, put up a net and get a friendly game of volleyball going. Or throw the Frisbee or a football around. Throw far and go long, you'll be surprised how winded you can get.
How about building a sand castle? Can that be a workout? SURE! You don't even have to build one, just start moving the sand around the beach.
Start kneeling with an empty bucket. Reach in front of you and dig out a full bucket of sand and twist to toss it behind you, alternating sides for a great oblique workout. You may not feel it then, but you may be sore the next morning, so don't overdo it.
No buckets? Try getting on your feet.
Walking in the soft sand of the beach alone is a workout. Sand gives you the extra resistance that you wouldn't have on a treadmill or on asphalt. You can do it barefooted and you'll feel a great workout in your feet, shins, and calves.
Beach walking is great for ankle stability! Eighty percent of ankle sprains are rolling out of the ankle because the lateral ankle is weak.
If you're feeling extra energetic, you can create a great strength workout with just you, a beach towel, and of course, some sunscreen. Alternate walking, jogging and sprinting to work the lower body and get the heart rate elevated. Also, alternate running on wet and dry sand for a difference in intensity.
Finish with some stretching, deep breathing, and meditation on your beach towel, taking time to close your eyes and feel the ocean mist and smell the salty air.
::Tip:: Always remember to bring lots of water along and stay hydrated while spending time outside. If you need some ideas on how to keep hydrated this summer, check out our hacks to stay hydrated!
The days of playing "Marco Polo" and doing cannonballs may be a distant memory, but you can still get a great workout in the pool.
Swimming is an obvious choice and an option many people use all year round in heated pools at health clubs. It's is an excellent, low-impact, whole-body workout.
But it's not very social, so if you're with the family, make it fun.
Everybody's got floaties! Any kind will do, but the smaller, the more work you'll have to do. For example, one of those long, skinny noodles is a great challenge.
Try putting it under your arms or holding it with your hands and doing flutter kicks while staying afloat. The kicking works the quadriceps and hamstrings and a little bit of the glutes.
Then try balancing the floatie on the lower body, either across the hips or between the legs, and work the shoulders, arms and back trying to stay afloat.
Compete with family and friends for time or distance. Have races with mid-torso power walking in the shallow end of the pool. Put your hands underwater and swing the arms with open hands to increase resistance.
Water aerobics is another way to get fit in the pool. Organized classes are great, but why not create your own? Here's a sample routine to try:
- Warm up by walking the perimeter of the pool, then jogging it. In the shallow end, do 90 seconds each of walking lunges, squats, and leg lifts to the front side and back, holding on to the edge. Finish working the lower body with flutter kicks holding the edge or using a kickboard. Then submerge to the neck and do chest presses, reverse flies, bicep curls and arm circles to work the upper body.
- For the core, try floating face down and face up and keeping the body straight using only the arms and abs.
- For muscle endurance, go to the deep end and tread water as long as you can for the finale. Tread just with the arms, then just with the legs, then with both.
The water is a GREAT place for exercise beginners because of the low stress to the joints, say experts.
No matter where you choose to be this summer, all these outdoor activities bring you back to being a kid. As adults, we go to the lake or beach and we just sit there. Let being outdoors bring back all those childhood memories of the fun vacations you had. You'll never regret the memories you create doing these activities as a family.
If you feel like you don't have the energy you used to as a kid, try out our WuLong Slimming Tea or SlimTea Capsules! The capsules are easy and convenient for on-the-go and our WuLong Slimming Tea comes individually wrapped for easy traveling!
How will you stay active this summer? Let me know in the comments below!
Yours in Health & Happiness,
P.S. While you are out and about this summer, don't forget to take along your WuLong Slimming Tea and brew up some iced tea for your friends and family! Find some delicious iced tea recipes, here. You can also add our tea to your summer smoothie for an added boost of antioxidants and energy for the day! Find a few of our delicious smoothie recipes here!
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