Summer is almost here, the days are getting longer, and everyone is ready to get outside! Originally a pagan holiday to celebrate the longest day of the year, people all over the world continue this tradition by getting outside and soaking up all of the additional hours of sunlight.
The Summer Solstice, and the whole summer season, is a great time to get active and closer to your “healthy living” goals. Let your treadmill gather some dust and say goodbye to your gym for awhile; there are plenty of exciting and healthy activities outside.
If you live in a rural or local area, the likelihood is that there are some great walking/biking trails near you. Summer is a great time to see wildlife. If you live in a more desert-like climate, consider walking, running, or biking earlier or later in the day. This will help you beat the heat, and making wildlife sitting much more likely.
Choose a trail that matches your ability level, and then challenge yourself to go farther and faster throughout the summer. Yes you will burn calories and raise your metabolism, but you will also get the chance to reconnect with the beauty of your home area. Discover new areas, create new favorites, and invite a friend to help keep you motivated.
Summer is synonymous with water fun. From the beach, the lake, the river, or even your community pool – summer is the perfect time to get into the water. You don’t have to commit to swimming a mile; even playing in the water can create a significant calorie burn. You may just be tossing the kids around the pool, but this is aerobic activity hidden as play. Walking on the beach is another great way to build up a sweat – the additional resistance and instability of the sand will make you aware of muscles you had long forgotten.
Swimming is just about the best workout you can give your body. Swimming is both aerobic and strength building, especially if you add fins and hand paddles for additional resistance. Swimming can be beneficial for any level of physical ability; the water serves to protect weak joints and prevent painful injuries. From swimming laps, treading water, water aerobics, or even playing Marco Polo, consider jumping in the water for some fun summer exercise.
It is summertime, so pack up the car, load up the kids, hit the road, and find the perfect campsite. A time-honored tradition of summer is the family (or friend’s) camping trip. There are plenty of healthy-eating pitfalls on a camping adventure, but with a little planning your trip can be a fun way to get closer to your weight loss goals.
Just setting up your campsite can be a great workout. Don’t watch others set up camp; jump up and get your heart rate pumping while setting up the tent, unpacking the stove, gathering firewood, unloading the car, and much more! You’ll be having so much fun working together that you won’t even notice the burn! Don’t get caught up in the camp-food eating trap. With some preparation you can have a cooler filled with healthy alternatives to hot dogs, chips, and candy. A kabob cooks beautifully over a fire, and fireside popcorn is a much better choice than chips. Fresh cut fruit can satisfy any sweet tooth, and splurge with just one roasted marshmallow.
Fill your camping trip with hikes, exploration, hide-and-go-seek, catch, Frisbee – anything to get you up and moving. Enjoy all of the extra hours of sunlight during the solstice, reconnect with nature, and feel empower by all of your healthy choices. Come home from your trip dirty, tired, happy, and one weekend healthier.
Summer is the perfect time to get outside, enjoy family and friends, and soak up all of the good weather, while also keeping your body healthy. These are just a few ideas for summer fun … add to our list and create a summer to remember!