The birds are singing, the sun is shining and you’re feeling inspired to swap the treadmill for nature’s “gym” in the great outdoors.
If you’re wondering where to start with your spring/summer workout routine, check out these tried-and-true fitness favourites.
Go Jump in a Lake
Is there anything more refreshing than diving into a cool lake on a hot day? Not only will it keep you from overheating, the low-impact workout you can get from swimming is great for your heart and easy on your joints. If you’re not in the mood to swim, there’s always kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, waterskiing and beach volleyball, among other activities. Lake season can be short in Canada, so get out there and make the most of it while you can.
Take a Hike
Fresh air, picturesque views and a great cardio workout make hiking a go-to healthy summer activity. The weight-bearing exercise you get from walking can help to boost your bone density and strengthen your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and the muscles in your hips and lower legs. Other benefits include reducing your risk of heart disease, improving your blood pressure, strengthening your core muscles, lowering your stress levels and increasing your chances of seeing some cool plants and wildlife.
If you’re not in the mood to jog or do squats, how about a little gardening? Not only does gardening qualify as moderate-intensity exercise, it also provides a little extra motivation by rewarding you with lovely flowers or yummy produce. In addition to the bending, digging and lifting required, gardening functions as a stress reducer and gets you away from your desk, phone or tablet for a while to get your hands dirty and enjoy some sunshine.
Ride a Bike
Now that the weather is cooperating, you can swap the stationary bike for a long and leisurely spin in the outdoors. The benefits of cycling include improved cardiovascular health, coordination, and mental health and can also help you develop killer calf muscles. If you can ride your bike to work in the summer, you’ll not only be improving your physical health, but the health of the planet and your finances as well.
For many Canadians, the spring and summer seasons represent a wealth of fun fitness opportunities unavailable to us the rest of the year. So remember to take time out to reap the healthy benefits of warm weather activities.