There are plenty of ways to get some exercise, especially with the summer weather on your side. Rather than sweating it out in a gym, this is the season to take advantage of warmer days and do your workouts under open skies – even if you do get some British rain to boot. Plus, it could save you money on a gym membership.
The longer days and brighter nights have the added advantage of giving you more time to fit in fitness. And since you’re out of the gym, you can think of new, fun ways to revamp your summer workout. So, in the spirit of all things summery, we’ve pulled together a list of our favourite summer workout activities to get the blood pumping.
Mix it up on the water
If you love the open water but fancy doing something different to swimming or trying your hand at surfing, stand-up paddle-boarding is a great alternative. Also known as SUP, this workout on the water can tone your entire body. But even better than that, it feels like fun, rather than a chore, and it’s something people of all ages and abilities can try.
Low-impact and suitable for a range of fitness levels, SUP can rival a hard-core gym routine. The act of balancing on the board can help you engage muscles across your body, with fans of the sport claiming that it’s a great all-over workout. But once you’re gliding along the water on a breezy summer day you’ll be thinking more about the fun and relaxation it offers, rather than the work you’re doing.
Just be sure to master the basics and practice important health and safety precautions before you set out. Things like checking the weather forecast, telling friends where you’re going if you’re paddle-boarding alone, and wearing suitable clothing, are a must.
Skipping for joy
What could feel more youthful and playful than skipping? Adults, be honest, when was the last time you grabbed a skipping rope and practised your coordination? But this is one summer workout option that can be done in your own back garden. Think of it as carefree cardio!
This childhood pastime is a powerful aerobic workout that can help you lose weight, increase your stamina, keep viral infections at bay, and reduce health risks like high blood pressure. Forget fancy equipment and pricy gear too. All you need is a sturdy skipping rope and a comfortable pair of shoes. It’s all about skipping the gym this summer and bouncing your body into shape with this high energy workout. The only thing to note is that skipping is a high impact activity. That means it’s tougher on joints like the knees, and that may aggravate conditions like arthritis.
We have to say it: Hula-hooping has successfully transformed from being a ‘50s fad to a modern-day cardio craze. Hula-hooping has been hailed as a cardio buster which does all the great things an aerobic workout should, including toning your abs, slimming your hips, building your core, strengthening your lower back and getting rid of those extra pounds. Use a weighted hula-hoop, and women can burn around 165 calories in 30 minutes, and men around 200.
Accessible as well as fun, you just need a large, durable hoop to get started. Get one that’s stronger than those flimsy plastic hula hoops that are generally more suitable for children. From there, you just need enough space around you to quite literally give it a whirl.
Make the playground your gym
Now is the time to head back to the local park! Yes, you heard us. The play area in the nearest kid’s park has some very useful equipment for those looking for a free and effective summer workout.
Use the monkey bars to build up your upper body strength, we can guarantee you it’s not as easy as the kids make it look. Try push-ups against the swings. Do lunges by the slide and work your triceps by the benches. If you have children of your own in tow, you can suitably embarrass them at the same time! But you’ll be getting a powerful full-body workout while benefiting from the fresh air at the same time.
This summer makes it all about changing up the scenery and making the most of your exercise activity. Have fun with your environment, enjoy the fresh air and the warmer weather, and boost your fitness levels all in one.