Fitness

Go Out and Play

Enjoy summertime fun that delivers a fitness boost!

Summer has arrived! Shut down the treadmill, slather on the sunscreen and get moving outside. Here are some hot ideas for fun, summer fitness:

Keep the beat
Summer dancing is a great way to get in shape. You can find every kind of class, from belly dancing, tap and salsa to ballroom and swing. Search the internet or explore your neighbourhood to find classes close to you. 

Go berry picking
Stop, stoop and fill your basket with low-calorie, all-natural berries. There are pick-your-own blueberry, raspberry and strawberry stands in most rural areas. Enter the term “pick your own” with the name of your locality in an Internet search engine window for a list of picking possibilities.

Head to the beach
Why not put on a big straw hat and go for a stroll? You'll get some fresh air, see the sights and tone your calves and thighs. You could also get some friends together for a challenging game of beach volleyball.

Join a team
Even if you're not a super jock, summer sports can be fun. There's probably a soccer, volleyball, tennis or softball league in your area with varying levels of skill. Remember, the more you put your spirit into the competition, the more calories you'll cut. Check with your YMCA or community centre for a list of local sports and activities.

Sign up for a race
There’s nothing like a setting a goal to get yourself in gear as you train for a walk or run. If you can find a run that raises money for charity you'll have even more incentive.

Be a water baby
Do aerobics in the pool, either alone or in a group. Try a half hour of jumps, side kicks, knee lifts or simply walking in the pool. For added resistance, use water noodles or water weights.

Bonus: When you exercise in the water, you don't have to worry as much about stressing your joints. If you're interested in a class, check your public pool, spa or YMCA for programs.

Commune with nature
Try bird watching, walking through the woods, visiting the zoo or botanical gardens. Not only do they offer you the chance to exercise but they also encourage your spirit to soar.

Rely on your personal power
While the weather is warm, you can run your errands with your own energy. Instead of going to the store in your car, walk or bike to your destination.

Summer smarts

No matter which summer calorie burner you choose, safeguard your health in the heat:

  1. Take your pulse
    In the heat, your heart rate may increase. Slow the intensity of your exercise routine if your pulse races above a comfortable range.
  2. Watch the clock
    Stay indoors or in the shade during the hottest time of the day (between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.).
  3. Drink up
    Take in plenty of liquids — especially water. Begin with 250 to 500 ml at least 15 minutes before your workout, then drink regularly while you're exercising. Make sure to carry a full bottle of water with you everywhere, and avoid caffeine: it can contribute to dehydration.
  4. Be flexible
    On days when the temperature is soaring, head indoors for an air-conditioned workout.