Stay Fit and Have Fun with Outdoor Summertime Activities

by SPARK


No season stands close to summer when it comes to outdoor activity potential.

From the beach to your local park, there are a million ways to stay fit, have fun, and enjoy the summer sun.

Let’s dive right in, shall we? Here’s a look at ways you can stay fit in the summer that won’t put you in the heat exhaustion red-zone.

  • The beach. It can be much more difficult to swim laps in the ocean, but there are a ton of activities along the sandy shores or pounding waves you can take part in to stay in shape.
    • Volleyball. If you think jumping over and over again is hard enough, try doing it in a few inches of sand. Fortunately, friendly games of volleyball are so much fun that you won’t even realize you’re working nearly every major muscle group in your body.
    • Running. Remember Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed at the end of the montage in Rocky III? They were running on the beach because it offers a high level of resistance, increasing muscle-building potential. Plus, you can just hop in the ocean (or lake, depending on where you live) and splash around a bit to cool off.
  • The pool. If you’re going to get a workout, you might as well do it in the cool waters of a pool! Whether you’re alone or have a few friends to entertain, there are plenty of athletic aquatic activities you can do.
    • Swimming. Generally, swimming laps around a pool is a solitary thing, so put on some tunes and spend the next hour practicing your backstroke. Even moderate levels of effort can burn hundreds of calories per hour.
    • Water polo. Anyone who has tried to tread water for any length of time knows how difficult it is to stay afloat. Add that difficulty to the sheer competition inherent in any friendly game of water polo and you’ve got yourself a satisfying workout.
  • The wilderness. Whether you live near a coastal area or in a landlocked region, you can always count on your local wilderness to offer many outdoor opportunities.Hiking
    • Hiking. Walking is a great way to burn fat and spend some casual time out in the sun, so stock a backpack with healthy snacks and water. You’ll add weight resistance, plus you can stay out longer and enjoy the views.
    • Camping. You’ll get more benefit from hiking a few miles to your campsite than you will parking your car and setting up a tent right next to it. State parks are abundant in this country, and so are national forests and wilderness areas. Both offer fun and beautiful ways to get exercise while enjoying the serene beauty of your local forest, desert, or grassland.
  • The park. Get a group together and head to the park. Here are some great ways to work up a sweat in the summer afternoons with your buddies.
    • Basketball. You don’t need a group of people to work on your jump shot, but it helps when it comes to getting an intense workout. One-on-one basketball forces you to make all the moves yourself, get your own rebounds and take your own shots. There’s no sitting up behind the play to catch your breath here.
    • Frisbee. Once you’ve mastered your forehand and backhand throws, graduate to Ultimate, a game rapidly increasing in popularity. Ultimate Frisbee joins elements of football and soccer, but this game is discs only. It’s a great workout, and it’s accessible by males and females alike, so create coed teams and have a blast.
    • Wheels. Take a simple bike ride around your town (make sure you wear your helmet!), or jump on your skateboard and practice your tricks. It’s not as easy as it looks on TV, and it’ll give your ankles and good workout.

Whatever you do to stay fit during the summer months, remember to stay safe in the heat by:

  • Drinking more water than you think you need. Even after you’ve finished your activity, your body will be recovering. Keep the fluids coming. Fruit is also a great source of energy, and who doesn’t love cold watermelon in the summer?
  • Taking breaks. In the interest of preventing sunburn as well as heat exhaustion, make sure to take breaks often. Escape the sun under a tree and hydrate.
  • Playing in the early mornings or late afternoons. The best way to escape the heat is to simply wait for it to pass. Summer mornings and evenings are perfect times to play, when it’s still warm out but the sun hasn’t yet reached scorching-status.
  • Wearing sunscreen. Look out for the health of your largest organ by protecting it from harmful UV rays. Reapply often! Hey, you’ll still be able to get a tan.

Above all, remember this: It’s summer. Throw a Frisbee. Go for a swim. Go camping.

School will start again before you know it.

“Vallone del Salto, au fond le Madom da Sgiof” Photo Credit: Bertrand Semelet

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