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5 Ways to Get More Exercise This Summer

Posted May 23 2011 10:44pm


When it comes to seasons, I'm more of a spring and fall guy. I don't like extreme cold or heat and I'm not partial to wintery snow or summer's mosquitoes. But if you like to exercise outdoors, you really can't beat summer for its long light, consistent weather and abundance of activities.

Plus, it's the perfect season to change up your routine and work out some new muscles. Here are 5 ways to celebrate summer through exercise:

Sign up for a run ... walk or ride. Research shows that when people set a goal like taking part in an organized run, walk or bicycle ride, they stick to their exercise routine better. Although marathons are traditionally run in spring and fall, shorter runs, walks and rides abound during the summer.

Get out of the pool ... and into a lake, river or ocean. I love swimming, but I hate doing laps. I prefer swimming loops in a lake. Summer is the perfect time to move out of an indoor pool and into a body of water. Just remember swimming in open water can be more dangerous than swimming at your local pool. Be aware of your surroundings and know your limitations.

Play kickball ... or badminton. Most major cities have adult kickball leagues . You'll be surprised at how many calories a child's game can burn. Or play badminton with your family. Chasing a shuttlecock for 45 minutes will burn 230 calories .

Take a hike ... at a National Park. There are more than 360 national parks, many with easily accessible hiking trails, so chances are good you live near one. They're an inexpensive way to spend a day burning calories and enjoying natural and historical sites. You can enter any national park for free June 21 , the first day of summer. Just remember to pack sunscreen and bug repellent.

Pick up a racquet ... or a baseball bat. It's no surprise that all four tennis majors take place in the summer (technically, it's summer down under when the Australian Open takes place). And you don't have to be Rafael Nadal to have a good time or burn some calories. Or join a baseball or softball league and take part in the national pastime.

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