How to Get More Active This Summer

The arrival of warm weather presents a great opportunity to adjust your lifestyle to include more outdoor activity. But if you’re not normally the type to be active and you are feeling a bit intimidated about starting, it can be hard to figure out what sorts of activities will be good for you. Here is a short guide to help you consider and choose some good activities.

Hiking and Biking

If you are looking to get your first taste of outdoor activity, start with what you already know. Check your area for hiking and biking trails and choose some that are considered a low level of difficulty. Read reviews of the location online to find out how long that trail will be and how much water you will need. Next, pack your backpack (it doesn’t have to be a fancy one, just a regular one will do for now!) with a few snack bars and plenty of water and hit the trail. Low-intensity hiking doesn’t require too much stamina or know-how, so you can get a taste of nature and exercise without pushing too far out of your comfort zone right away.

Similarly, if you already have a bike, start by taking progressively longer and longer rides around your neighborhood. You may uncover some interesting streets and paths you’ve never seen before! Next, choose a low-intensity biking trail and give it a shot!

Once you’ve built up some comfort with hiking and biking, you’re ready to step it up. Choose a more advanced trail and maybe take the time to update your gear to something more durable. For example, swap out old tennis shoes for hiking shoes or replace the tires on your bike. Once you’ve started to develop a taste for a hobby, it’s easy to keep going!

Running

If you’re trying to start some new healthy habits for the summer, you may be a bit intimidated or put off by running. But running is one of the best ways to get an all-over body work out, and running outside allows you to enjoy nature rather than the boring four walls of a gym while you exercise.

Start by taking light runs around your neighborhood, and then try some hiking trails in your area. It’s worth investing early on in a good pair of running shoes as running with bad shoes can cause you some foot and calf pain.

Running can be an intensive sport, so if you are feeling a bit intimidated by getting started with running on your own, try to get a group of friends together who would be interested in running with you. Set goals of completion for your group. For example, aim to participate in a Tough Mudder by the end of the summer. Come up with a team name and outfits to keep you motivated. For example, you could be Team America and could order matching Men’s American Flag Shorts for your uniform.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a great way to try something totally new that you might not have otherwise considered. Lots of gyms have climbing walls and some areas even have dedicated indoor climbing gyms, so you might feel more comfortable getting started in a setting like this. But one of the great things about rock climbing is that it does allow you to be outdoors for long periods of time. If you’re the type to get bored by long hours at the gym, rock climbing is great because it keeps you mentally stimulated while you work out.

Club Sports

Another great way to get active with a group of friends is to join a pick up sports league. This is a great option for those who are a bit reticent to get outdoors and active as it allows you to play a sport you may already know you like while hanging out with friends, usually at a familiar location like a local park. Make it an informal standing event for you and your friends to really get in the mode of good habits.

Swimming and Surfing

As with rock climbing, you may want to start out doing some swimming at an indoor pool to get more comfortable with it. But once you have built up some confidence with it, you can start getting out into the water at the neighborhood pool or the ocean, river, or lake near you. As with everything on this list, the more adventurous you can get with going out into nature, the bigger the pay off, so test your boundaries by trying out other things like surfing, kayaking, or even snorkeling. Taking a class with friends may help you stay motivated!

Listen to Your Gut!

When it comes to increasing your activity level and changing lifestyle habits, you need to remember to listen to your gut on this. That is, don’t push yourself to do activities you don’t like or to keep a schedule you can’t maintain. While exercise should be hard work, it should also be fun so be proactive by trying out lots of things and choosing the activity you like best to make sure you stick with it. Now, get outside and get moving!

 

Editor’s Note: Thank you to this post’s author, Mike Wilson, for the healthy summer tips.

Morning Run

 

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