If you want to stay in shape this summer but prefer an outdoor workout over the gym, here are some outdoor workouts and activities where you can enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Don't forget to spring clean your diet before summer starts.
1) Go for a swim
Whether you’re at the pool or the beach or the lake this summer, use the water as an opportunity to get a workout in. Swimming is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that uses nearly every muscle in your musculoskeletal system. Swimming is also a low-impact exercise, which reduces the risk of joint pain and injury than high-impact exercises like running can cause.
Even if you’re not a swimmer, doing water aerobics or even walking through waist-high water strengthens your muscles and burns calories.
2) Walk or bike your errands
Instead of driving around town to run your errands, walking or biking is a great outdoor workout to run your errands instead. This gives you the opportunity to get exercise and increases the amount of time you spend outdoors, which can increase your Vitamin D levels and improve your mood.
A person who weighs 155 pounds burns an average of 500 calories per hour on a recreational bike ride and burns about 230 calories walking at a leisurely pace for an hour.
3) Play lawn games
Lawn games are another summertime activity that can help you stay in shape while you’re enjoying time with friends and family. Games like horseshoes, ring toss, croquet, bocce ball, and cornhole toss all provide fun, inexpensive opportunities for people of all ages to stay active this summer.
4) Mow the lawn
While it might be tempting to hire someone to mow your lawn, or mow it using a riding mower, consider using a push lawnmower instead to get your workout in.
In addition to increasing muscle mass in your arms and legs, mowing the lawn also improves your cardiovascular health and burns calories. The average person burns between 350-450 calories an hour while mowing the lawn with a push mower.
As with all outdoor summertime activities, be sure to stay hydrated, protect your skin from harmful UV rays, and try to avoid strenuous activities during the hottest hours of the day. It's also good to know how to treat heat rash.
5) Play beach volleyball
Beach volleyball is another fun way to stay fit while enjoying time in the sun. Beach volleyball tones your body, strengthens your core, improves your cardiovascular health, and improves your hand-eye coordination.
Because playing in sand adds resistance, a 150-pound person playing beach volleyball for an hour burns about 360 calories more per hour than they would play indoors.
6) Take a hike
Hiking and camping trips are other great summertime activities that can help you stay in shape while enjoying time in nature. The number of calories burned depends on the difficulty of the hike, but on average, a 150-pound person carrying a 15-pound pack will burn 260 calories on a 3-mile hike.
In addition to being good for your physical health, hiking can improve your mental health, too, since spending time in nature has been shown to reduce rates of anxiety and depression.
7) Host a dance party
Even if you don’t consider yourself athletic, there are other ways you can stay active this summer. For example, host a dance party! Dancing is an effective aerobic exercise that burns calories, improves your flexibility, and increases your lean muscle mass while you enjoy music, creativity, and time with family and friends.
8) Plan an active vacation
While lounging by the pool is a staple of many summer vacations, consider incorporating more activity in your vacation to help you and your loved ones stay healthy and fit.
Activities like kayaking, horseback riding, kite sailing, water skiing, and snorkeling give you the opportunity to explore your surroundings and make meaningful memories while helping you get in a workout, too!
At GoHealth Urgent Care, we’re here 7 days a week to care for you.
Written by Sarah Thebarge, Physician Assistant