The summer sun can bring out our indulgent side, leading to weeks spent indulging in such activities as: beers on a breezy patio, ice creams by the ocean, and lounging in the garden with a cocktail or two. While your body may be busy synthesizing vitamin D while you’re lazily drinking up the sun, the temptation to be more sedentary during these months can have an impact on your health and fitness later on.
To counteract that temptation, here are five healthy summer activities that promote good health, help keep you in shape, and allow you to have fun outdoors!
1. Outdoor Swimming
I’m a huge fan of freshwater and ocean swimming. There’s no chlorine, no lane restrictions, lot of fresh air and beautiful surroundings – what’s not to love! Plus, swimming is a really great way to stay active, healthy and cool in the summer. Add an extra fitness challenge by cycling to your nearest natural body of water before diving in for a few refreshing laps.
Always make sure to check your local resources for water safety announcements, wear waterproof sunscreen and shower afterward.
2. Cycling Tours of Local Vineyards, Orchards and Fruit Stands
Like many people, I enjoy a tipple or two in the sunshine with friends, but how about really earning that glass of wine by taking a cycling tour of local vineyards? Vineyard cycle touring companies are shooting up all over the place, with many offering a handy van to transport you and your bike back home once you’ve had a little too much to cycle safely.
If you’re in BC, check out the Okanagan Valley for beautiful bike trips through orchards and vineyards.
If you’re lucky enough to live in close proximity to fruit farms with a ‘you-pick’ operation, berry-picking is a great way to spend a summer’s day with family. Use the opportunity as a fun way perk your kids interest in healthy eating!
If you don’t have any close by ‘you-pick’ berry options, think about tracking down a local berry hotspot, either in the city or along a hiking trail, and take a bucket or two to haul your spoils home in. Remember to be bear aware!
Anyone who lives by the ocean or a decent sized river has probably encountered a paddleboarder or two in recent years. This watersport is great exercise and ideal for those who enjoy being out on the water, but who lack the waves to surf.
To get started, check your local community center for beginner paddleboarding class, or search for a meet-up group nearby. After just a couple of hours of trying to balance on your board in the fresh wake of a boat, you’ll see that paddleboarding can be a tremendous core and leg workout. You may even discover muscles you never knew you had!
5. Park Yoga
If it’s not already happening in a park near you, consider befriending a local yoga studio to encourage them to put on free community outdoor yoga. My nearest park has two sessions every day during summer, attracting at least a dozen people each time, some of whom have never done yoga before. It’s a great way for new practitioners to make a name for themselves in the community, and a lovely way to spend some mindful time outdoors. Keeping those stress levels in check and those limbs limber during summer with a little restorative, outdoor yoga.