Have you caught the summer bug yet? You know – the one that causes you to want nothing more than to shrug off responsibility, duty, appointments, and schedules in favor of lying under a tree with a good book, or embarking on a “city’s best ice cream” hunt? We’re right there with you. Regina Brett put it beautifully when she said, “Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.” During the summer, we want to soak up every minute of the delightfully long days. Above all, we want things to be easy and fun.
Unfortunately, this is also often true of exercise. During the summer, hard workouts just seem so . . . hard. That’s why we really like to take advantage of exercises that don’t feel like exercise. Health and fitness that just feels like fun. Interested? Well, if you can look away long enough from your cloud-gazing, we have for your our 5 favorite ways have fun this summer, and sneakily exercise while you’re at it.
- Take a dip. We know, we know – you’re version of “swimming” lately has evolved to putting on swimwear to sit in the shade, pool-adjacent. However, getting in the pool is a seriously-underrated way to spend a pleasant afternoon. Not only that, it’s a great muscle-toner, calorie-burner, and stress-reducer. Even if swimming laps isn’t your thing, simply treading water, challenging the kids to flutter-kick races, or playing keep-away can all secretly count as significant exercise.
- Play fetch. Your dog likes summer, too, and would really like to go for a romp in the park. Try a long walk in the early morning to catch a glorious sunrise, or work on the pooch’s ball-retrieving skills. This kind of quality time with your dog can reduce stress, improve your mood, and yes, counts as exercise.
- Row, row, row your board. Have you tried stand-up paddle boarding yet? This popular water sport has quickly gained nationwide popularity, and is available at many public lakes (and even some swimming pools!) around the country. What’s great about paddle boarding is that it requires little skill, minimal balance, is easy to learn, and still packs a great workout. As you breeze across the water, you won’t even realize that you’re toning your core, arms, shoulders, and legs.
- Bike to dinner. If biking has lost the thrill it once held for you, maybe you haven’t given it a try lately. What we really love about biking is it doesn’t require a lot of planning; as soon as you get a whim, simply strap on a helmet and go. Biking is really fun, it allows you to enjoy the warm, scented summer air while you run errands, and it can be a killer workout. Biking can lower stress, raise your metabolism, and build muscle.
- Ain’t nothin’ better than home-grown tomatoes is how the song goes. And it’s true. Gardening is not only a decent form of exercise, but it’s a wonderfully authentic example of how hard work can pay off in delicious dividends. Between pulling weeds, dividing and replanting groups of perennials, and turning the compost (as thoroughly and as often as you’re supposed to, that is), you’ll be exercising without even realizing it. And to reward yourself, perhaps a luscious BLT . . .