Written by Rachel Lawton
If you’re stuck in a rut with the same old workout routine or lacking the motivation to even workout in the first place, maybe it’s time to try something new! The American College of Sports Medicine recommends healthy adults get around 150 minutes of physical activity per week. But, here’s the good news: this does not have to mean spending 150 minutes in the gym! The daylight lasts longer in the summer and the weather is beautiful, so why not take advantage and enjoy the outdoors while simultaneously improving your health? Here are a few non-traditional ways to get those active minutes in by yourself or with family & friends!
Spend a weekend camping – incorporate in physical activities while you’re there. Swimming, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, or biking are all great forms of exercise!
Go to the beach! For people who enjoy walking or running, adding the uneven surface and consistency of the sand is a great way to tax new muscles and add a challenge to your regular routine. Bonus… a beautiful view.
Try a new sport like FootGolf – a combination of soccer and golf, this is played at a golf course facility on shortened holes with larger cups. The rules largely correspond to the rules of golf. You may be surprised that there are likely FootGolf courses in your area. Check out this video to see more! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eeNeo5wVF8
Spend a day around the house– Now this may not be the MOST fun option on the list, but you’re getting a two for one with the tasks you’ll checked off your list at the end of your “workout”. Mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes, washing the car, and vacuuming the house is enough to keep you up and moving for hours!
Try a new class! Look around your community. There are tons of summer programs, punch cards, or drop-in classes available. Everything from yoga, to boot camps, to dance, to recreational sports leagues. If you time it right, you may even be able to find some free options.
Visit an amusement park, the zoo, or the mall – You’ve never thought of this as exercise, but the large majority of the day is spent up on your feet!
Why is Physical Activity So Important?
Physical activity has an endless list of benefits. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, here are some of the biggest rewards you gain from being active:
Fight weight gain and obesity: obesity currently affects approximately 33% of all US adults and has a strong correlation with Type 2 diabetes
Disease prevention: physical activity can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and cancer (the 3 leading health-related causes of death in the US)
Building overall strength and endurance: this one speaks for itself
Injury prevention: exercise helps to build bone, muscle, and joint strength which in turn lowers our risk of falls and other injury
Improved sleep: expending extra energy during the day can help you to be more tired when bedtime rolls around, promoting a better night’s sleep
Stress relief: working up a sweat can be a great way to let go of some of your daily stresses. If high intensity isn’t your style, many people find stretching or yoga to be a great relaxation technique as well
Increased energy: endorphins released during exercise tend to boost our mood and energy levels
Improved self-confidence: better mood and energy = higher self-esteem and more confidence!
Increased life expectancy: with all of these combined benefits, our life expectancy tends to rise with better health
Keeping all of this in mind, make it your goal this summer to get outside, try something new, & get moving! Your body will thank you!