The summers are officially here. The sun is warm, the grass is green, and the watermelons and lemonade have suddenly become everyone’s favorites. With such pleasant weather outside, do you really want to participate in most of your physical activities stuck inside a dark and cold gym?
While there are certainly benefits of regularly visiting the gym, it isn’t necessary to just stay stuck in a routine. In fact, most health and fitness experts agree that there is no single type of exercise that can be considered the “best” when it comes to staying in shape. The more important thing is that you actually like and enjoy the activity you choose, as that will make it easier for you to stay committed to your fitness.
Once you embrace the summer seasons and start getting outside, you’d be surprised to learn how easy it is to get moving and get your heart pumping by participating in simple summer activities. So if the thought of going to the gym 5 days a week intimidates you or you want to spice up your summer activities, try participating in the following healthy outdoor activities that aren’t just fun but can also help you stay in shape.
1. Explore a Nearby Park
Arguably the easiest and most fun thing you can do this summer is to explore a nearby park. Whether it is for a hike or a simple walk, with family or friends or by yourself, visiting a park is always a great experience.
You will be able to take in the beauty of nature and soak up the sun. The great thing about exploring a park is that you don’t need to exert yourself to reap the health benefits. You aren’t climbing a mountain or spending an exuberant amount of time on the treadmill.
Instead, you can decide your own pace and just move as you feel comfortable. Of course, you can time yourself or set specific goals to gain more benefits, but you don’t have to. Just 30 minutes of walking a day can have a significant impact on your overall health.
2. Ride a Cycle
Learning to ride a cycle is one of the first things most of us learn to do as kids. It makes conveyance more convenient and enables us to participate in physical activity without getting fussy about it. However, as we start growing up, most of us leave this incredible practice behind.
This summer may be the perfect opportunity to revisit this activity. There are plenty of benefits of cycling for the body as well as the mind For starts, it is a great lower body workout, as it works your quads, hamstrings, and caves. It is a low impact exercise, which means that you are at a lower risk of injury while cycling your way through town.
It is a particularly great activity for people dealing with joint pain or injury. It is also a cardio activity and can help improve your cardiovascular health. The combination of peddling while maintaining balance and steering is also a great way to improve balance and coordination. Not only that, but cycling can relieve stress and boost mood, making it an overall great activity to take up.
3. Take a Run
Never underestimate the power of a simple run. While it can feel terrible and exhausting at times, running is also a pretty straightforward activity. It doesn’t require any fancy equipment or specific locations. All you need is a pair of good running shoes and you can start running wherever you are. And while a lot of people may not look forward to running due to various reasons, there is one thing that no one can argue – running is an incredibly healthy activity.
Just running for half an hour at a moderate speed can help you burn up to 400 calories, give or take. You don’t have to start training for a marathon. Simply run as much as you feel comfortable while trying to push your limits just a little bit. But don’t overexert yourself.
If you keep running regularly, you’ll soon notice that you will naturally be able to beat your previous record without actively thinking about it. There are also various benefits of running for your mind. It is one of the best activities that pulls your attention to the present moment and takes your focus away from negative thoughts.
4. Go for A Hike
If you’re looking for something different and fun, going for a hike can be the perfect activity. Not only is hiking a great aerobic workout, but it is also great for your mental health. There are a number of studies that prove that spending time in nature can reduce negative thinking and stress levels.
The rugged and somewhat steep terrains are great for effectively working your leg muscles. Since hiking is a weight-bearing exercise, it is also good for your bone health. However, the greatest benefit of hiking may be that it is great for people who don’t have too much time to participate in physical activities on a regular basis.
Can’t visit the gym daily? According to a recent study, one or two long hikes on the weekend may offer similar health benefits to those who work out more frequently. Hiking is also a great activity to take your friends or family along.
5. Go for a Swim
In the scorching summer heat, what better way to cool down than to literally splash around in water? But hold on, that is certainly not the only benefit of swimming. It is a great way to improve your aerobic fitness, and offers similar health benefits to walking and running. However, since swimming is easier on your muscles and joints, it reduces the risk of injury and increases your stamina to swim for longer.
Swimming is a particularly great activity for older adults due to the reduced risk of injury. People with arthritis may also benefit from it, as it can increase their use of joints without worsening their symptoms.
In addition, it is also a great way to strengthen your core muscles, which can help improve your overall health and fitness. Did you know that Michael Phelps has to consume 12,000 calories on his training days to stay in shape? While you certainly wouldn’t need that many calories, it is interesting to learn this for reference on how much swimming can benefit you.
6. Take up Yoga
Almost everyone is aware of the health benefits of yoga. Yet, most people seem to be skeptical about them. ‘Can a simple activity like yoga really help you gain all the benefits it claims to?’ you may wonder. The answer is: yes. Yes, it most certainly provides all the benefits it claims to. If your aim is to get into or stay in shape, outdoor yoga is a great activity for you. It helps you get moving enough to sweat. But at the same time, it is relaxing enough that you don’ get tired.
Of course, the greatest benefit of yoga is that it can de-stress your mind and make you feel calmer and more positive. If you’ve never practiced yoga before, it may be a good idea to join a yoga class instead of trying to learn things from online videos. While those videos can be beneficial if you have a basic understanding of you, beginners should take more precaution.
Not only can trying to learn yourself increase your risk of injury, but you may never know if you aren’t doing a pose correctly without anyone supervising your practice. The good thing is that you can still practice yoga at home. Due to the lockdown last year, a lot of experienced yoga practitioners have started teaching online. So make use of this opportunity and watch your worries melt away.
7. Join a Group Class
While yoga is one the best group classes you can join to stay fit and healthy, it is not the only group class you can join for this purpose. There are various sports and physical activities you can participate in, including a dance class if you want. The thing about group classes is that they can encourage you to continue.
While you may get lazy and skip leg day at the gym, you’re more likely to force yourself to go to a class you actually enjoy. It is also a great way to break the monotony and expand your horizons this summer. So whether you always wanted to learn karate or brush up on your basketball skills, take the opportunity now. Find something that interests you and check out your local community forums or do a quick search on the internet to find relevant classes near you.
8. Revive an Old Sport
Chances are that bicycling may not be the only sport you learned as a kid but failed to carry into your adult life. You may have been a great gymnastics, but never practiced past middle school. Or, you may have been the star player of your school’s tennis or football team, but never played it for fun since you left for college.
This may be the perfect opportunity to revisit those fun activities. So find a place where you can participate in those sports and activities and have some fun while getting into shape. And since you’ve already enjoyed these activities as a kid, it will be a lot easier to build up the habit again. Once you start looking, you’ll find that opportunities are just waiting to be explored.
9. Camping in Your Backyard
If you add up the travel and equipment cost, camping can seem like a pretty expensive venture. However, spending a fun filled weekend in your backyard won’t cost you more than a few peanuts. Pretend you’re in the French Alps by pitching the tent and rolling out a sleeping bag. This is a particularly great activity if you want to involve kids with you, as it will give them an opportunity to put down their mobile phones or video games and explore nature – even if just in your backyard.
While this may not be the most strenuous physical activity you can participate in this summer, it certainly has a lot of mental health benefits. So play outdoor games, enjoy a burger and some grilled meat, and toast some marshmallows before you fall asleep under the stars. And remember, mobiles are off limits (unless there’s an emergency, of course).
10. Pokemon Go
This may sound slightly controversial, but hear us out. Yes, Pokemon Go received some negative press when it was first released to the public. However, think about it for a moment: the main purpose of the game is to get you moving. Of course, you have to be sensible, and make sure you don’t wander off into some dangerous territory while playing it.
It is also especially important to not drive and play. But as long as you can practice the necessary precautions, it can be a great activity for you to ‘Get Up and Go’, as the strap line recommends. Walking around your area to find PokeStuff won’t just help you get some physical activity in your day, but will also enable you to discover new places you may not have known existed.
Plus, the accomplishments may help fire up the reward center of your brain, and you may find yourself getting more and more active by the day. So download the game and give it a shot; you may just find that it is the best way to keep moving, even on days when you don’t feel like it.
Ultimately, the important thing is that you keep moving. You can do this any way you like – even if it is just taking a walk in the neighborhood or dancing your heart out at We’re All In This Together from High School Musical at midnight. So, find an activity that you enjoy and stay fit through the summers and beyond.