Forget hibernating during the winter — when the temperatures soar, so does the temptation to stay indoors in the air-conditioning. But the health benefits of outdoor activity are too great to sacrifice, especially when the sun is shining. Apply some sunscreen, and try one of these activities.
What’s up with SUP?
Stand-up paddleboarding, aka SUP, is a popular new water sport on rivers, oceans and lakes. Standing at full height on a board that looks like an oversized surfboard, you’ll paddle along, seeing many sights and getting a great full-body workout. As you balance, you’ll engage your core, and as you paddle, you’ll work your arm muscles. Learn more about SUP at www.supthemag.com.
Get in line with inline skating
Dig those dusty inline skates or regular roller skates out of the back of your closet and go for a spin. According to the Inline Skating Resource Center, skating is as beneficial to the body as running, and in a 1991 study, researchers found that the average person who skates comfortably for 30 minutes burns about 285 calories at an average heart rate of 148 beats per minute.
Let the rhythm get you
If you’ve been bitten by the Zumba bug, check out an aqua Zumba class. Same moves, same addictive beats — just with the added resistance and cooling effects of water. For the uninitiated, Zumba is a Latin-inspired form of dance exercise that’s taken the aerobic exercise community by storm. Get a taste for the flavor of Zumba at www.zumba.com.
Connect with your inner child
Remember the joys of summer vacation? Indulge your need for nostalgia and get a great workout with a jump rope and a hula hoop. According to WebMD, jumping rope torches as many calories as running but doesn’t stress joints nearly as much. Similarly, WebMD also reports that hula hooping burns as many calories as step aerobics or a brisk walk. Consider using a weighted hoop rather than a lightweight toy hoop.
Splash into a swimming hole
Break up your normal lap-swimming routine by taking your workout to a swimming hole. You’ll experience natural beauty and stay in shape. In 2010, The Huffington Post named seven of the top swimming holes in the U.S.:
- Havasu Falls in Supai, Ariz.
- Barton Springs in Austin, Texas
- Lake Creek Rock Slides in Lane County, Ore.
- Hackers Falls in Milford, Penn.
- Travertine Creek in Sulphur, Okla.
- Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz, Calif.
- Little River Canyon in Fort Payne, Ala.
Tend to your garden
In addition to being relaxing, gardening is also a form of moderate exercise. According to ScienceDaily, Kansas State University researchers have found that gardening offers enough exercise to keep older adults fit; plus, gardening helps keep an older adult’s hands strong. Don’t forget to plant some healthy fruits and vegetables to spruce up your meals.
Take advantage of longer days and summer nights by going outdoors for some active fun.