Falling asleep to crickets chirping, roasting marshmallows and tossing raw eggs to my sister at Fourth of July picnics are cherished memories that will always remind me of summer. There is something about summer that makes simple activities more enjoyable and unforgettable. Take advantage of summer weather and attach positive thoughts to exercise and activities that are not only fun, but good for you too!
Pack a lunch, grab your helmets and head on down to the nearest bike path. Many cities and towns have official paths with wide roadways specifically for riders, as well as public bathrooms and picnic tables. The Cape Cod Rail Trail is my personal favorite with a course that covers more than 22 miles from Dennis to Wellfleet. It’s the perfect alternative if you get tired of going to the beach on your summer vacation. It’s also a healthy way to explore a new destination without having to look through a car window.
If your friends or family are having a large BBQ, don’t forget to bring your gloves, bats and balls for a friendly game of softball or baseball. There is a reason this sport has competitive adult leagues in most cities. If you can’t get your group’s act together, check to see if there is a co-ed league near you. Don’t forget the Big League Chew, sunflower seeds and of course, your favorite Mini Babybel for the dugout.
If you’ve never tried it before, tennis is one of the few sports that adults can pick up from scratch with minimal investment. Try buying a used racket online or at your local sporting goods store for less than $100. A friend asked me to help him learn so we began playing after work a few times a month. Two years later and after buying a few lessons from a pro off Craigslist, our skill levels are near even! It’s a great workout and can include up to four people. Most towns even have courts that are free for the public. A 150-lb person burns approximately 288 calories for an hour for doubles and 414 calories for singles.
If you own a kayak, awesome! If not, they can be rented at a reasonable price for a daily rate. Kayaking is one of the best upper body activities that you can do recreationally. Be careful if it’s a windy day or you might end up sore for the next week! For an hour of kayaking, a 150-lb person burns about 240 calories an hour.
Swimming is one of the best low-impact exercises a person can do. It not only burns a ton of calories but also tones your entire body. To switch things up, you can grab a kickboard to focus more on your lower body. Just playing around leisurely for an hour, you will burn 300 calories! The best part? You don’t have to workout before you go to the beach but you can do it while you are there! If you plan to do freestyle in the open ocean, make sure you bring goggles and possibly drops for your ears in case water gets in and you need some assistance getting it out!
Stand Up Paddleboarding
This has been the hottest summer exercise trend for the past couple of years thanks to Laird Hamilton. Celebrities swear by its core strengthening capabilities and it’s catching on with the mainstream public. Beginning as a west coast trend, this activity now has people on the east coast embracing it as a great beach exercise. Purchasing equipment can be expensive, think $800-1200 for a board, but sales have proven that it’s the fastest growing water sport. The great thing about stand up paddleboarding is that almost anyone can do it! Check to see if there is a place near you where you can rent a board for the day.