Summer means warmer weather, which also means more opportunity to spend time outdoors! The Mayo Clinic recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily for healthy adults, and summertime is possibly the best time of year to get that kind of exercise in without feeling like you’re going out of your way to get it. We have a few easy and fun exercise recommendations you can participate in this summer to get healthy and stay healthy; you might even be doing some already!
An Australian study found that swimming is beneficial in a number of ways, from cardiovascular health to building and maintaining muscle strength; plus, it lacks much of the impact stress that other activities can put on your muscles and joints. In the summertime, outdoor access to warm, swimmable bodies of water goes way up, which makes it the ideal time to take a dip while catching some sunshine. Doing specific water exercises will certainly elevate the amount of exercise you get while swimming, but even just wading and swimming around is a good way to get some exercise. Plus, you can cool down, relax and have fun while doing it!
Now that Summer is nearly here, many parks have started maintenance on their sports fields and courts so that they are usable for the public. Basketball, tennis, and softball/baseball spaces are all fairly common in public parks, and each is an excellent way to get a little competition-motivated exercise. You can always play at your own pace, which makes these sports great cardio exercise that almost anyone can partake in. Grab a friend and get out there!
If you have a garden that you tend to–whether in your yard or in the community–you know that the summer is peak time for gardening. But did you also know what great exercise gardening can be? Being a moderate-intensity activity, gardening can help to reduce the risk of a number of health conditions, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Not only that, but according to a 2010 study by the Sage Journal of Health Psychology, gardening can also be an effective way to reduce stress and improve mood. If you’re already gardening, keep at it, and if you aren’t, you might want to consider giving it a try! Community gardens are a wonderful entry point.
While hiking is a great way to get exercise, it isn’t for everyone. Taking a nice walk around your neighborhood is a simple, accessible way to get some exercise while taking in your surroundings and just enjoying the good weather while it lasts. If you’re going somewhere that’s within a walkable distance, choose your feet instead of your car! You’ll get some activity in, and it’s better for the environment!
No matter what exercises you use to stay active this coming summer, make sure you are doing so properly. Stay hydrated, dress in weather appropriate clothing, and keep an eye on local weather advisories; you don’t want to overheat or dehydrate when it gets really hot out. For more pointers on ways to get healthy and stay healthy, we recommend our blog on healthy habits.