With summer brings longer, warmer days and the sudden desire to get outside. You don’t have to be a gym buff to embrace summer fitness and have fun in the sun—there are lots of outdoor sports and activities you can enjoy at any age and fitness level.
If you want to infuse more activity into your summer days, we’ve got you covered. Here are four suggestions to get you started.
The simple act of walking outside is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and is a great addition to any summer fitness plan. Walking gets your heart rate up in addition to burning calories, improving lung capacity and strengthening muscles.
Choose your intensity, scenery and terrain—take a leisurely stroll through a park, follow a winding path through a forest or treck up steep trails to reach an epic view. Going on a walk or hike allows you the option to catch up with a friend while exercising or enjoy some quiet time by going solo and listening to your favorite podcast or audiobook.
Did you know walking and hiking are also good for your mental health? There are mood-boosting benefits from getting into nature and moving your body. It also boosts endorphins (the happy brain chemicals), clears your mind and helps reduce stress and anxiety.
So whether you’re a (hiking) trail blazer or more of the grab-a-coffee-and-walk-around type, your mind and body will thank you.
Put your pedal to the metal! Road cycling and trail riding offer a great workout and scenic views (it’s truly the best of both worlds). Biking is an accessible sport—anyone from adrenaline junkies to families with young children can take part, as long as they have a bicycle that is.
This full-body workout helps build cardio endurance and leg muscles, allowing you to venture further than on foot. Feel the open road beneath your tires as you pedal on pathways, past countryside or down mountainous terrain.
Much like running, walking or hiking, many people experience therapeutic benefits on mental health from cycling. The endorphins mixed with the fresh air and feelings of freedom can do wonders for your mood and mental clarity.
Pump up those tires, dust off that helmet and get back on the bike as part of your summer fitness quest!
No talk of summer fitness would be complete without water sports! There are many ways you can improve your strength and cardio in any body of water.
Swimming laps across the pool is one of the best low-impact workouts anyone at any age can do, and it’s a great way to build muscle and endurance.
If the ocean and adventure are more your style, catch some waves by surfing or bodyboarding or explore beneath the surface with a snorkel. It will take some practice, but these sports are a great way to enjoy nature while pushing your limits.
And what better way to spend long summer days off than at a lake? There are thrilling watersports such as wakeboarding, jet skiing, parasailing or tubing. If you want to get on the water in a more relaxed way, then paddleboarding or canoeing are enjoyable options.
For a more social fitness experience, gather friends for a game of pickleball, spikeball or volleyball. Net and ball sports can be played recreationally, are easy to learn and can be played with either small or large groups.
The game of the summer—pickleball—is a relatively new obsession for millenials and Gen Z. A cross between tennis and ping pong, pickleball is played on a small court and uses a wiffle ball and solid paddles. You can play singles or doubles with this fast-paced, action-packed game so groups of two or four are ideal.
A few years ago, spikeball came on the scene and was an instant beach and backyard favourite. Players make a circle around a trampoline-like net that sits in the middle where they try to spike and bounce the ball off the net and up to another player.
Volleyball is a classic that never goes out of style. Bump, set, spike your way to an amazing day at the beach or in the backyard with friends.
No matter your style, if outdoor summer fitness is your mission then you will have no shortage of options and opportunities to reach your goal.