Summer Fitness Checklist : Looking to ramp up your same ol’ fitness routine with new and exciting ideas this summer? Get out of your rut and start managing a healthy weight and honing your strength, balance, and flexibility with these 11 fun ideas on our Summer Fitness Checklist:
That’s right, make like a kid and . . . crawl! That latest fitness craze, crawling, is sweeping through gyms across the country, proving to be a beneficial workout that not only burns calories but engages loads of key muscle groups, from lats to glutes and more. Crawling around on your hands and knees also helps strengthen balance and coordination, making it a key low-impact exercise for older adults too.
Make it a Date
Instead of meeting a friend for coffee or drinks, set up some time together to do something physical and fun! Ride bikes, go rock climbing, take a hike, try standup paddleboarding . . . the ideas are endless. Exercise is always more fun when you can enjoy it with another person’s company. Who knows? Your new summer tradition may just become a regular year-long thing.
Try a New Class
Looking to spice up your years-old gym routine? Take the summer to try out a new class – maybe it’s spinning, zumba, barre, yoga, or dare say it, crossfit? Follow your local gym on social media or check Groupon to find discounts on upcoming classes, or use sites like ClassPass and CourseHorse to do quick searches by region and interest for a class that might suit your new fitness flare.
Take the Stairs
What better time to start burning some extra calories at work than summer! Park a little further away each morning to get in more steps on your way in, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Not only are you burning calories, but you are boosting blood flow, potentially helping you wake up and be more attentive and alert at work too.
Join Your Kids
While the kids are home from school during the summer, take this opportunity to exercise with your kids! Maybe it’s leading a hike at their summer day camp, joining them in a game of kickball, or coordinating a family bike ride each week. No matter what you choose to do, the physical exercise will be no match for the memories and bonding time you get to share with your kids.
Play with a New Toy
Tackle a new exercise tool or piece of equipment you’ve never tried before at your gym this summer. Don’t worry about looking like you don’t know what you’re doing. Decide what you want to use and either look up instructional videos on Youtube, ask a friend, or check with another gym member or instructor about proper use.
Plan Fitness with Travel
Don’t let your fitness routine get sidelined with all your summer travel. While it’s important to take a break and enjoy life without exercise every now and then, trip after trip in the summer can take its toll on your commitment to fitness (and your waistline!). Try and stay in hotels with gyms or pools where you can slip in a half hour of workout here and there, or make a point to prioritize long walks in the sand or ocean swims when staying at the beach.
Ditch the Pain
If foot, leg, or knee pain have kept you out of the gym regularly this year, use the summertime to address your discomfort and seek treatment. A visit with a doctor, physical therapist, or sports medicine specialist may help you address form or technique issues which may be leading to pain, or a diagnosis of an injury could help you finally put a treatment plan in place. Simple remedies may include icing regularly, wearing a shin brace, getting an orthotic aid, or cross training in other exercises that won’t exacerbate existing injuries.
Get Control of Sleep
For many women, especially moms with kids home from school, summertime can mean haywire bedtimes and disorganized mornings. Disrupted sleep schedules and worsened quality of sleep can lead to back pain, poor eating habits, and a reduced motivation to keep up with your workouts. Try and stay on as much of a consistent sleep schedule as possible, avoid blue light from tech devices prior to going to bed, and wake up in the morning with sunlight and movement to get your body and brain going.
Give Back with Exercise
Summertime is a great time to sign up for athletic charity events that turn your physical fitness into proceeds for nonprofits and community groups. Perhaps it’s running a 5K, joining a color run, or participating in a walkathon – athletic charity events help you give back to others, stay fit, and enjoy an outdoor summer event with friends and family. Search for local charity events and races near you with Active.com.
Put Down the Gadgets
Not only can constant connection to your tech device (be it your smartphone, tablet, or laptop) lead to bad posture, eye strain, and hand pain which requires a splint, but it might also be contributing to negative feelings, i.e. stress from the news, envy of other’s vacation photos on facebook, etc. Try and go screen-free for intermittent periods this summer and see how your health and overall mood benefits.
The bountiful sunshine of summer beckons a rejuvenation of your health and fitness routine. Revitalize your workouts and exercise goals with fun and creative ideas that just might surprise you. What would you add to a summer fitness checklist?
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