Getting fit is about so much more than looking good in your clothes (although that’s always a bonus!) It’s about protecting your body against illness and disease, strengthening your bones, regulating hormones, sleep and so much more. Exercising improves your fitness meaning you naturally feel more energetic and of course, it boosts mood so you feel happier too. It’s something we should make an effort to do all through the year, but in the summer it’s definitely easier to do. When the weather is warm it’s easier to get outside, and so with well over a month of summer left, now is the perfect time to get outside and be active. Here are some of the ways you can go about it!
Hikes and walking
Walking is one of the very best activities you can do. It’s free (you just need some comfortable shoes) and accessible to anyone that doesn’t have mobility issues. It gives your body a cardiovascular workout while sculpting your legs and glutes, firming up your core and even toning your arms and back to a slightly lesser extent. Walking is a great way to get around, leave the car at home and go on a brisk walk to see friends or run errands when the weather is mild. If you have a dog then this is a great opportunity to provide them with plenty of exercise as well as bonding time, plus walking a dog is motivating. Chances are you’ll walk for longer knowing they’re enjoying themselves, just be sure to bring water and use a dog paw balm if the weather is warm to protect their feet. If you want an easy walk then go with a flat terrain, if you’re up for something more challenging then tackle hills and mountain walks. Pop your headphones on and you can get lost in your own little world, otherwise pay attention to the sounds of nature and work on clearing your mind. It’s good for the body and good for the soul!
Do you have a bike that’s sat in the shed collecting dust? It’s time to get it back out, not only are bike rides a lot of fun but they’re so good for your health. Do some research online and find your local bike trails, otherwise head to your local park for a ride around. If you have children that enjoy playing on their bikes then this is something you could all do together as a family, pack up a healthy picnic and pop it in a rucksack and you can cycle to a nice destination and stop for lunch. A great way to make a day of things while getting your heart rate up and enjoying the glorious sunshine.
Swimming is a fantastic form of low intensity exercise, it takes the weight off your joints while working out just about every muscle in your body. If you have an outdoor pool nearby then it’s the perfect excuse to cool down on a hot day, but even an inside pool is nice in the summer and when you get out you’re not freezing cold! You could even go to the beach and swim in the sea, there are lots of benefits to this and again it’s something you could enjoy with family and make a day of it.
Exercise doesn’t always have to be regimented or set sporty activities. You could have a water fight with your children and run around the garden, you could play frisbee in the park, you could jump on a trampoline in the garden and generally just have fun! Anything that gets you moving and your heart rate up is a good thing.