When the weather is gorgeous, who wants to work out in a gym? Not only does outdoor exercise give you the health benefits of vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” it can also increase your likelihood of sticking to a weight-loss plan. The keys to a successful sweat session in summer are adequate hydration, sunblock and a really fun activity – so you’ll be excited to get out there even when it’s hot. Check out these great ideas for summer workouts.
1. Outdoor yoga
Mix up your next yoga session by taking it outdoors. Yoga is known for its stress-relieving effects, but it can also improve memory, relieve chronic pain and even help you sleep. Taking your yoga practice outside – on your own or in a class – provides an even greater sense of calm and relaxation. New to yoga? Grab your mat and do this beginner routine outside.
2. Beach running
Don’t just lounge in the sand this summer: Consider being at the beach as an opportunity to kick your workout up a notch. Running on the sand burns up to 30% more calories than regular running and is a great resistance workout for your legs. It can improve the strength of both your calves and ankles, and also reduces the risk of impact injuries. Bonus: You can jump in the water to cool off when you’re done.
3. Hula hooping
Grab the kids and head outside for this silly, slimming workout. Hula hooping is a great way to keep kids active while burning serious calories (up to 600 an hour). It strengthens and tightens nearly thirty different core muscles, and after a long day sitting at your desk, it’s a great way to strengthen the muscles in your lower back, reducing pain. “Hooping” also works your arms, legs and butt.
Get back to nature and boost your health by going for a scenic hike with the family. Hiking uses nearly every muscle group and can help prevent heart disease and lower blood pressure. The fresh air and picturesque views can lower anxiety and boost your mood. And it’s a great choice even on hot summer days: Shaded trails can be up to 30 degrees cooler than a sunny sidewalk.
5. Rock climbing
Are you up for adventure? Do you find most exercise boring? Grab some friends and take a rock-climbing lesson. It’s a great total-body workout and can help increase your range of motion, coordination and flexibility. Rock climbing is also a great workout for your mind, forcing you to engage your problem solving skills. Not quite ready to hit the mountains? Indoor rock climbing gyms offer many of the fitness benefits – and a great time.