At the time of this writing, the spring breeze is slowly evolving into a summer heat. Its time to begin to think about trips to the beach and donning that sleeveless shirt you bought on clearance.
But, along with summer weather, a lot of people think about a “summer body.” If this is you, don’t worry! Even if you dread the thought of hitting the treadmill, these tips will help you get your exercise, and you won’t even know you’re doing it!
How Much Exercise is Recommended?
Doctors recommend that every adult get about 150 minutes of exercise each week. Does that sound like too much? Well, if you think about it, it’s only 30 minutes each day, five days each week.
You’re going to need to get some moderate aerobic exercise as well as a bit of weight training. But that doesn’t mean you’re sitting in spin class or lifting weights. As you’ll see, there are other ways you can get your exercise – without joining a gym!
Kids’ exercise requirements are a little different. The CDC recommends that children get around 60 minutes of exercise per day. Again, though, you’ll see that this is not as daunting as it seems, and in most cases you’ll just need to take the tablet from their hands and send them to play outside. The rest will come naturally to them.
Of course, whether you’re an adult or a child, you’ll need to ensure that you’re healthy enough for exercise. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns, such as heart problems, joint issues or obesity. Then, check out the activities below and get moving!
1. Go to the beach
There’s a wonderful meme that’s been circulating the internet for some time. The caption on that meme reads:
How to get a perfect beach body:
Step 1. Have a body.
Step 2. Go to the beach.
And that’s absolutely true. Don’t let self-consciousness about your body prevent you from enjoying a bit of sunshine. No one looks like a supermodel… not even a supermodel.
That said, it’s time to hit the beach. Skip the umbrella and the beach towel, and opt instead to walk on sand, which requires much more exertion than walking on pavement of a treadmill. Go swimming. Swimming burns as many as 704 calories per hour, depending on your weight and intensity.
Play beach volleyball, or take a kayak out on the water. The beach is packed with opportunity to exercise. Bring your sunscreen, and get moving!
2. Go geocaching
Whether you bring the kids along or not is up to you. But geocaching is a great, family friendly way to get outside and get some exercise.
If you’re not familiar, geocaching is like a treasure hunt. Little caches have been hidden all over the world, and it’s up to you and your GPS-enabled cell phone to find them. Some are drive-up locations, like lamp posts and stop signs. But many more are hidden in the woods, requiring you to get out of the car and make the trek to find them.
For an added boost to your exercise, upgrade your geocaching account. You’ll have access to more caches on “difficult” terrain, which means hills, hikes in the woods and more.
3. Go fishing
Many people don’t realize that fishing is excellent exercise. Think about it. You’re using just about every muscle group in your body. You’re casting with your arms and shoulders, and reeling with your arms as well. If you’re boating, you’ll be using core strength to balance as well as your upper body to row.
Even if you’re just wading, wading through water can burn up to 10 times more calories than walking on dry land. Heck, even hiking to your fishing location can provide a significant amount of exercise.
Feeling philanthropic? Join a fishing tournament. There are tons of tournaments which offer you the opportunity to both exercise and give back to the community by donating to organizations which benefit cancer survivors, kids in low income areas, veterans and more.
4. Join a rec group
Technically speaking, you’ll know you’re exercising when you do this. But think of the fun you’ll have! Rec groups aren’t just for soccer ad softball anymore. There are many, many different activities you can try, from hiking to parkour. (Come on. You know you want to learn how to flip around in your yard, vaulting off grills and stuff.)
Rec groups aren’t just a good way to exercise and meet potential workout buddies. They’re also a great way to get to know your community better. Who knows – your fencing opponent may be the mayor!
5. Get some housework done
Cleaning won’t burn as many calories as running a marathon, no. But a bit of spring cleaning can go a long way to getting you motivated to move. I’m not just talking about doing the dishes, either. Go big. Rent a carpet steamer, get the blinds down, clean the garage.
Prefer to be outside? Gardening is great exercise, too! Again, you’ll burn more at the beach or doing parkour in your backyard, but it’s a great way to get going. Hoeing, raking, digging and planting will make your yard look good – and make you look and feel good, too!
6. Go camping
And by camping, I don’t mean your backyard. Make a weekend of it, and find a local park that offers great opportunities for hiking. Carrying your pack with you as you hike even just a few miles of steep terrain will burn more calories than you’d think. Even just an hour’s hike can burn up to 600 calories, depending on your weight and intensity.
Then, once you make camp for the night, don’t be tempted to overindulge on those marshmallows! Bring along a few treats to enjoy, or better yet, go fishing when you reach your campsite. There’s little more rewarding than eating supper you caught.
7. Go dancing
Dancing is a very easy way to burn calories, getting exercise without thinking about exercise. You could take ballroom dancing lessons, or go to a salsa club. Heck, you could go to a nightclub if that’s your jam.
Dancing will burn around 500 calories per hour, making it one of the most fun ways to exercise. Whether you’re square dancing or learning the Charleston, you’re burning calories, having fun, and learning how to impress your friends at the next holiday party!