It's summer and I’m excited to get out and enjoy all the amazing health benefits that come with warmer weather. Now is the perfect time to set fitness goals, try new outdoor opportunities and eat healthfully. Spending time outside with the changing sights and sounds reduces stress, improves mood, boosts energy and enhances cognitive function. Simply stated: nature’s gym makes us happy and healthier.
Here are ways to make summer a healthy time for you and your loved ones.
Running isn't for everyone, and that's okay. Walking at a fast enough pace to get your heart rate up can be just as effective. Brisk movement strengthens your heart and can extend your life. Hike a local park, take a dog for a walk, or simply stroll with friends or family.
Hit the Water
If you're a fan of cross training, paddle sports or swimming can give you a full body workout while working on balance and your core. You’ll not only challenge your body, but also enjoy a scenic view along with the relaxing ambiance of the water.
Take a Ride
Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s fun, cheap and good for the environment. A bike ride also will torch up to 500 calories an hour. Need an extra boost? Check out the article on page XX about Pedego electric bikes.
Join a Rec League
Is it really exercise if you’re doing it with your friends and then grabbing a refreshing beverage afterwards? Absolutely! Golf, tennis, volleyball, softball, pickle ball—anything that gets you moving is good, and if you’re laughing and having some healthy competition at the same time, even better.
Sign Up to Race
Signing up for a 5k, 10k, Tough Mudder or triathlon adds the fun of competition, and the benefits of training with others. Having a tangible goal with a decisive end date helps you stay motivated and active, while enjoying the outdoors.
Unleash Your Inner Kid
Remember back when you’d dangle on the monkey bars or push a friend on a tire swing? Turns out they're still fun today—plus they're actually a great form of weight training. You can turn a gym routine into the ultimate power workout just using your body weight and park equipment.
Try Horseback Riding
More than just majestic creatures, horses can be a great enabler for exercise. Horseback riding is fun, terrific for core stability and legs, and therapeutic being around animals that are such symbols of strength.
Inline skating not only tones leg and core muscles, but improves balance and cardio fitness. It's fun with family and friends without feeling much like exercise. An hour of blading can burn anywhere from 400-600 calories.
Shop Farmer’s Markets
Summer is perfect for taking advantage of farmers markets. Delicious seasonal farm-fresh non-GMO and organic foods are at your fingertips. One look at the vivid colors of just-picked produce shows just how nutritious they are.
Grow Your Food
Nothing beats the taste of fruits and vegetables from your very own garden. Growing your own food can be an enjoyable calorie-burning activity that saves money.
Fire Up the Grill
Explore local groceries or butcher shops for deals on meats to complement fresh local produce. Grilling is a quick, delicious way to prepare organic lean cuts of beef, chicken, salmon or pork—and don't forget, vegetables are great on the grill.
Cool Down with a Smoothie
Blend your favorite summer fruits—and veggies like spinach and kale—with Greek yogurt and your milk-of-choice for a hydrating breakfast or snack. Fruit adds plenty of sweetness, so skip adding sugar. Make extra, and pour into ice pop molds for a fun, nutritious frozen dessert.
Sean Lee has been in the health and fitness industry for 18 years as a speaker, best selling author and founder of Restoration Fitness, Lake Zurich’s premier wellness studio. Visit RestorationFitness.com to learn more, or call 847.847.1837 for a free no-obligation consultation.
1) Shop Farmer's Markets
2) Take Your Pooch to a Dog Park
3) Hike a Forest Trail
4) Skip the Uber & Walk More
5) Always Wear Sunscreen
6) Stay Well Hydrated
7) Relax with Friends and Family
"You can turn a gym routine into the ultimate power workout just using your body weight and park equipment."