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10 activities to mix up your summer workout routine

10 activities to mix up your summer workout routine

Beverly Hosford

Gardening

One of the great things about gardening is that it can be very therapeutic, almost like a meditation. It’s easy to get carried away and feel truly “in the moment,” which is why it’s so important to move around mindfully.  

Bend from your knees and waist instead of your back, and focus your attention on your core. Be mindful of your shoulders, keeping them down away from your ears. Take a deep breath out and feel your abdominal muscles contract. Replicate that muscle contraction while breathing normally. Brace your abs whenever you’re lifting or making a large effort. Change positions frequently, as staying in a low squat for 10 to 15 minutes can cause undue stress to the body.

Swimming

Swimming is a wonderful way to stay cool while working out. Warm up with shoulder rolls and arm rotations. Choose a variety of strokes to keep your body from doing the same motion repetitively. Injuries happen from consistent overuse of the same movement patterns. 

Hiking

Call friends and organize a weekly or monthly time to get together to go hiking. Exercising in a group will keep you all accountable and make the time fly by!

Warm up with ankle rolls and torso rotations. Stop once in awhile to do ankle and shoulder rolls to stay loose and flexible. Practice deep breathing at a scenic point on the hike. Take in that fresh air and expand your lungs.

Yard yoga

Grab a mat or towel and take your routine outside. As you breathe deeply, you can enjoy the sweet air of summer. If you don’t know a routine, search for one online, purchase a video or attend a local class until you’ve learned a safe way to do the movement.     

Paddle boarding

It’s one of the hottest sports around the country. Stand up paddle boarding works your entire body and improves balance. Be mindful of standing tall in between paddle strokes.  Keep your shoulders down away from your ears.

Kayaking

This is a great upper body workout and method for cooling down on hot days. Before you begin, close your eyes and find a neutral position for your spine. This will be where it feels the least effortful to sit up straight. Move your head forward and back to note where it’s aligned over your spine. Start from this position and maintain it as much as possible to avoid kayaking kinks later on. 

Disc golf

If you want to take it easy on your body and challenge your coordination, give this a try. Don’t underestimate the work it takes to launch the disc. Wrist rolls are an important warmup and exercise to do throughout the round. Torso rotations and shoulder rolls will also help keep you loose. 

Cycling

Bring awareness into your shoulders while biking to avoid discomfort later on. Anchor them down away from your ears. Your spine should have a subtle but not excessive curve. Align your hands, wrists and forearms to prevent injuries.  

Pay attention to the pressure you place through each foot and leg as you pedal. Most people are dominant on one side. Use cycling as a way to balance your body. 

Toss a ball

Football, softball, baseball, Frisbee and badminton—all of these sports enhance your coordination and allow you to connect with another person. For a bonus challenge, let your dog play, too. It puts the pressure on to make the catch! 

Meditation

Sometimes the best activity is to slow down and quiet your mind. Lie in the grass on a blanket and focus on your breathing. Enjoy the summer air and sounds around you. 

Choose one of these activities and implement it into your summer routine. Gather some friends and have fun!