School is out, summer is officially weeks away and it is time for vacation, the beach, swimming, and other outdoor activities.  Check out some of these super summer exercises that will not only having you looking and feeling great but can be incorporated into your regular outdoor activities and vacations this summer.

LAKE WORKOUT:  Taking the family to the lake this summer? The water is a perfect place to exercise in the heat and humidity of summer. Exercise does not have to be a consistent 30 – 60 minutes; recreational activities can also be exercise and 10 minutes or so a few times throughout the day will really add up. Swimming or treading water is a great way to work the cardiovascular system. If you are out boating, go out to a safe area, stop the boat, anchor, and do some swimming.

Want an all-over body workout? Try canoeing… many lakeside facilities offer rentals. Not only is it great for the shoulders, but it is also a great core, oblique, and back workout as well. Depending on how long and the intensity, it can additionally cause the legs to work as stabilizers as well.

MOUNTAIN WORKOUT:  The mountains are a great summer workout location because it is usually shadier and cooler in hilly terrain. Since you’ll be gaining altitude, you may notice a drop in temperature as you climb which can be a nice treat on a hot summer day. To add some intensity to a regular hike, try “pole hiking”. You can use 2 walking sticks (wood or aluminum) to help propel yourself up. Using the poles allows you to involve the upper body in an activity that normally works mainly the legs and glutes. Incorporating the arms with poles can also reduce stress on the knees. Also by using the upper body motion, you really get your heartrate going. Another way to add some intensity is by doing an interval type hike – walk briskly up with strong, bold steps and then walk down slow for recovery.

Another great mountain exercise is mountain biking.   Many areas have miles of dirt trails great for the fat, nubby tires of a mountain bike. Even moderate trail cycling is a great whole-body workout that doesn’t feel like exercise. If you don’t own a bike, most bike stores will rent one for a nominal fee.

BEACH WORKOUT:  Heading to the beach this summer? Grab that mask and those fins and give snorkeling a try. It is not going to be a high-end cardiovascular workout, however, it does keep the body moving and you are using big muscle groups and the fins add increased resistance. It is great work for the back, the lower limbs, and the oblique’s.

If getting in the water is not your thing, put up a net and get a friendly game of volleyball going, or throw a Frisbee or football around.

Walking in the soft sand of the beach alone is a workout. Sand gives you the extra resistance that you wouldn’t have on a treadmill or on asphalt. You can do it barefooted for a great workout on your shins, feet and calves. Of course you can always go for a brisk walk and/or run on the packed sand on the beach as well.

Strengthen your ankles by working on your balance with a one legged stork stand. Eighty percent of ankle sprains are because the lateral ankle is weak. By standing in the sand on one leg, you strengthen the ligaments and muscles around the ankle and make them stronger.

Your beach towel can also become your workout mat. Try knocking out a few pushups, planks and crunches throughout the day for some added strength and core exercises. Finally, the peaceful mood of the ocean’s edge is a great time to do yoga, stretch, practice deep relaxed breathing as well as meditation.

POOLSIDE WORKOUT:  Swimming is an obvious choice and an option many people use all year round in heated pools. It’s is an excellent, low-impact, whole-body workout. Try mixing it up by using a pool noodle…hold on to the noodle with your arms and using only your legs, move yourself across the pool. Then, you can reverse this and use the noodle under your legs and then try using only your arms to swim your laps.

On the shallow end of the pool, walk as fast as possible from one side of the pool to the other, then when you get to the end, do 30 flutter kicks (holding on to the side of the pool), repeat by heading to the other side.

Not a big fan of the water or swimming? In-between catching rays do walking lunges around the perimeter of the pool.  You can set an alarm and do 1 set per hour.

Taking a vacation doesn’t mean you have to take a break from your exercise routine but it also doesn’t mean you have to worry about having to budget time to fit it in either…you can have the best of both worlds by having fun and getting exercise during your daily activities.

Paula Jamieson

Bodyrich Fitness Company

Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutritionist

For information contact us at:  678-417-0880 ext. 8301 /




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