Summer’s here, and it’s the perfect time to vacation, enjoy cookouts with friends, or just lounge in a hammock. While it’s important to unwind and enjoy this much-deserved downtime, don’t forget to stay active in the summer months. Exercise is a great way to burn off calories and stress at the same time! Whether playing sports or lifting weights at the gym, the physical and mental benefits of exercise are tremendous. You feel better, you look better, you gain confidence, and you learn to work harder and smarter—lessons that will set you up for success. There are many great ways to get in your daily dose of physical activity, and all are quite easy to do.
Join a Gym
Many exercise facilities offer month-to-month memberships and college student discounts. If you can, try to make an hour at the gym part of your morning or evening routine. Commitment can be tough, so why not enlist the help of a workout buddy? It’s a great way to catch up with old friends over the summer and will keep you motivated. Meet up for a spinning class or chat while jogging on the treadmill. You’re more likely to show up and stick to a workout schedule with the support of a good friend.
If you don’t want to spend money on a gym and prefer to exercise outside, see what kinds of activities you can enjoy at your local park. Get a group of friends together to play volleyball, toss a frisbee, shoot some hoops, or knock the tennis ball around. Hitting the park solo? Put on headphones and go for a run, do some rollerblading, take a bike ride, or explore hiking trails.
Get Paid to Work Out
Wouldn’t it be great to make money while exercising? Well, you can! Find a summer job that requires some heavy lifting, like moving storage boxes, stacking bales of hay, or shoveling at construction sites. If you want to combine your love of sports with teaching kids, then working as a camp counselor, soccer referee, assistant dance teacher, or baseball coach are great ways to burn calories while having fun.
Make a Splash
Summer is ideal for partaking in water sports and activities. Swimming is an excellent non-impact exercise that can burn 400-500 calories per hour and won’t put a strain on your joints or back. It’s a great way to build up muscle, increase flexibility, strengthen your core, lower blood pressure, and develop cardiovascular endurance. Other calorie-burning water activities include paddle boarding, surfing, water jogging, and kayaking or canoeing.
Smart Summer Advice
- Stay hydrated by drinking at least six to eight glasses of water per day.
- Wear plenty of sunscreen. Reapply every two to three hours when outdoors and immediately after swimming.
- Be sure to wear a helmet when biking, rollerblading, etc.
- Wear light colors in the summer, as they reflect the sun’s rays.
- Avoid alcohol, soda, and coffee as much as possible. These types of beverages can dehydrate the body.
- Wear hats or sunglasses when outside.
- Eat light meals more often during the day. Be sure to include a lot of fruits and vegetables.