Fun in the Sun

By Shani Petroff

This time of year (aside from the heat-wave days), I love spending time outdoors. The sun is shining, there’s a breeze, and everything seems bright. It’s the perfect time to get in some exercise. Of course there’s running in the park, taking an outdoor fitness class, and things like that — but I prefer exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise:

Taking in Street Fairs and Festivals: It seems I can’t go very far in the city without bumping into some sort of event going on. There are street fairs everywhere. Walking up and down them helps me get in a bunch of steps — all while taking in the sights around me. The only catch is I have to be careful not to buy any junk food on these outings. There tend to be food stands everywhere that often sell items with astronomical SmartPoints® value. But there are good choices to be made too. I find the watermelon spears or the corn on the cob without any butter satisfies my street-fair food craving but doesn’t dip too deeply into my SmartPoints budget. It’s a win-win! (And for those who don’t like walking outside, there are always great indoor conventions this time of year too. I went to the book expo at the Javits Center not too long ago and did so much walking that I felt it the next morning!)

Play Time: All those things we did as little kids — who says we’re too old for them now? Flying a kite, playing Frisbee, blowing (and chasing after) bubbles still appeal to me. I actually just bought some bubbles with huge wands — the kind you have to spin your whole body around to make. I said I was buying them to have for when my niece and nephew come to visit, but the more I look at them, the more I really want to go and play with them now! Finding the child inside of us is not only a good way to get in some movement, but also to have some fun and be carefree!

Fruit Picking: Someone from my hometown posted a picture on Facebook of the brightest, reddest strawberries I have ever seen. It really made me want some! And then I learned she had actually picked them herself. I instantly went and did a Google search for a patch near me. I always loved apple picking when I was a kid, and strawberry picking sounded just as fun, if not even better. It will even let me get in a bunch of squats and knee bends as I reach down to pick the berries!

The Pool: Going in the water, swimming, jumping around, even walking through it, is amazing exercise, but when it’s hot outside, it just feels like relief. I can cool down, work out, take in the sun, enjoy myself, and avoid getting sweaty all at once. It screams summer to me. And if you are worried about getting in a bathing suit — don’t be! Just do it. Here’s my post on that.

What are your favorite warm-weather outdoor activities? You can find me on Connect @shani!

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