Low-Impact Cardio Activities Anyone Can Do This Summer
Getting active outside in the summer might not sound like your idea of a good time, especially if making active lifestyle changes is new to you. High-impact activities such as running and jumping can wear you out quickly or even cause injury if you do too much too fast.
Fortunately, anyone at any fitness level can fill their summer with fun, low-impact cardio activities, which burn calories and carry less risk of injury. Best of all, you can involve friends, kids and grandkids in your outdoor fitness activities. Here are some ideas you can try this summer.
Plunge in for a Swim
Taking a dip in the pool is more than just a great way to beat the heat. Swimming is also one of the most effective low impact cardio activities you can do. Whether you’re practicing a leisurely breaststroke, doing freestyle laps or racing your friends, swimming will get your heart rate up without causing pain or discomfort in your joints. In fact, you might find that being in the water actually helps you feel better all-around.
Take a Hike
Organizing a day trip to a state or national park near you is a great way to get the family together for some exercise (as well as some time away from screens). Be sure to search for information about your local hiking trails ahead of time. You’ll want to pick a path that is somewhat challenging but doable for everyone in your group. You can take your hike to the next level by inviting everyone who comes along to bring a booklet to write down all of the wildlife or plants spotted along the way, and try to figure out what each thing is when you get home.
Hit the Trail for Happy Hour
If you live in an area with a hike and bike trail, get into the habit of taking walks on the trail with a friend instead of going out for margaritas or sugary frozen drinks. Bring along bottled water as well as some healthy snacks like celery or fresh berries. Rich in both fiber and water, these snacks will keep you energized and hydrated. Before you know it, you’ll start looking forward to exercising outside with friends and family.
Hop on Your Bike
Remember riding to the store on your bike to get popsicles during summers as a kid? Relive those memories with friends or even your own children by cycling to the grocery store, the library or your local park. Even if you don’t have any local errands to run, biking can help you experience your own city in a new way or squeeze in some exercise on a vacation. Be sure to bring water to stay hydrated, and don’t forget your helmet.
Depending on where you live, you may not need to get a hot yoga membership to enjoy a detoxifying workout. Taking just a few minutes to stretch your arms, legs and core outside each day can relieve stress, help clear your mind and get you into the habit of exercising. Especially if you are just starting to make lifestyle changes, building those seemingly small habits is key to long-term success. Warm, summery weather is the perfect environment to take up stretching and yoga.
Walking/Playing With the Dog
Your dog needs to go outside anyway, so why not make some extra time for play this summer? A daily game of fetch and a walk around the block will improve your bond with your furry friend and have a positive impact on your overall health. Both you and your dog will benefit from running, chasing and playing. Plus, shifting your focus to having fun with your dog takes your attention away from the summer heat!
Dance Along to an Exercise Video
If it’s too hot to go outside or if you get an unexpected summer storm, you can get your heart pumping inside just as easily. Gone are the days when you needed to order entire sets of expensive tapes to find a new workout to do in your home. Doing a search on Google or YouTube will bring up thousands of videos you can use to exercise without equipment or a gym. Exercise your body as well as your creativity with dance videos. You’ll pick up moves you can bust out at your next summer soiree. With online exercise videos, you can enjoy all the benefits of an exercise class from your local health club without spending money, worrying about how you look in front of others or finding someone to watch the kids.
Do you have a favorite summer exercise? Let us know in the comments!