Written by: Coach Kelley
Warmer weather is upon us and that means it’s time to get out of the house and start sweating! Outdoor training and activities offer a wonderful way to shake up your normal exercise routine and stay fit. According to an Ohio University study, you’re 23 percent more likely to repeat an outdoor workout. Why? The answer is simple:
Fresh air + sun = more fun!
When selecting an outdoor workout, it's important to note that choosing a sunrise workout could help you fall asleep earlier and with greater ease. Experts at the Lighting Research Center in Troy, NY say natural a.m. light resets circadian rhythms, so it may be easier to fall asleep. Exercising later in the evening can delay melatonin release, making it tougher to fall asleep. Night owls needn’t worry; the most important thing is fitting in a workout that fits your schedule.
Wondering where to begin? Listed below are some of my favorite summer workouts:
Who doesn’t love spending a day at the beach? After taking some time to catch up on your summer reading list, it’s time to put that book away and hit the beach running. By taking your workout to the beach, you aren’t just getting better scenery, you're also getting a better workout.
A study conducted by Griffith University in Australia found that landing on the soft sand of the beach decreases the amount of stress hard surfaces puts on your feet. The resistance of the sand also works your hamstrings, quads, and glutes more efficiently than hard pavements.
You may have noticed an “adult jungle gym” section in your local park. Completing the exercises listed at each station is an efficient way to achieve a full body workout while enjoying the summer weather.
Be sure to follow the instructions at each station carefully to avoid injury. Make it fun by bringing a workout buddy and engage in some friendly competition. You’ll be surprised how many pull ups you can do when a post workout smoothie is on the line!
Cooler temperatures at higher elevations make hiking a great summer workout. Immersing yourself in nature is also a wonderful way to clear your head. The solitude often found on hiking trails will make climbing to the top of the mountain a breeze.
Even a novice should feel comfortable hitting the open water in a kayak for a chance to tone your arms while rowing down a lazy river. NYC offers some fantastic opportunities to take to the city’s waterways and enjoy some free kayaking. Check with your town/city’s local boat or yacht club for some kayaking lessons near you. LIC Boathouse offers some great kayaking programs in Long Island City.
Who didn’t dream of surfing with Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves after seeing the movie Point Break? Check out the surf clubs at your local beaches and sign up for some lessons. Surfing requires major endurance, strength, and balance - so hop on a board for a fun and challenging workout.
Circus training centers and studios have popped up all over the world in the last ten years as this fitness trend has exploded in popularity. The summer months offer a great opportunity to take your dreams of performing under the big top outside. Many resorts, beaches, piers, and parks offer flying trapeze, silks, static trapeze, lyra, and rope lessons. Take advantage of the opportunity to trade the chalky air for a salty breeze - just don’t forget your sunscreen!
Check your local park’s summer schedule and you’ll most likely find a variety of yoga classes offered free to the public during the summer months. The American Osteopathic Association cites the following as physical benefits of yoga:
Increased muscle strength and tone
Improved respiration, energy and vitality
Maintaining a balanced metabolism
Cardio and circulatory health
Improved athletic performance
Protection from injury
Do you love dogs but are unable to commit to being a full-time pet parent during the week? Summer weekends are a perfect time to get some exercise while volunteering. As a long time shelter animal advocate and volunteer, I can guarantee your local shelter needs dog walkers. You can get in your workout while providing a loving animal with some much needed outdoor time. Many shelters also offer offsite hiking trips - a perfect way to soak in that fresh, cool
Remember while summer is a time for BBQ’s, relaxation, and fun, don’t forget to get outside and move!