August 5, 2022

3 Easy Ways to Stay Active This Summer

by Michelle Porizkova

We know that you’ve been hit over the head with this too many times to count, but it’s true: exercising and physical activity is a main component of a healthy life. 

But, what people don’t mention is that there are certain parts of the year that going outside and being active seems extremely difficult.

The winter (depending on where you live) can be much too brutal for you to go outside for a run or bike ride. On the flipside of that, Summer can be even worse in that regard, if you live in a climate where for 3-4 months it is over 90 degrees outside. 

Of course, going to the gym is the easiest solution during the Summer, but sometimes you may not have the time or access to a gym, or you may simply not enjoy getting exercise in that manner. 

Since we’re in the thick of a heat wave but our bodies need some physical activity, here are some ways to work around that blazing hot afternoon.

Strategic Walks

Walking outside during the Summer can prove to be difficult, especially around noon and the afternoon. One way to combat this is to walk early in the morning, before the sun has come up, or when it has just risen and the temperature has yet to spike. 

Another way is to simply go in the evening. When the sun is setting between 7 and 9pm, that is another time when you won’t feel the heat blazing onto your skin, and you can enjoy your walk and still get a good workout in.

Some little ways you can also incorporate walking into your daily life, especially if you work most of the day, is:

  • Parking farther away from your job/when you shop, so that you have a bit farther of a walk
  • If your job requires a lot of sitting, get up every 45-60 minutes and walk for 1-2 minutes, whether it’s inside the room you’re in or in the hallway
  • Take stairs rather than an elevator if you work in an office setting
  • Use a step tracker on your device(s) to encourage yourself to meet goals
  • Have a walking buddy – whether you go together on early morning, late evening, or weekend walks, try to bring someone along to chat with
  • If you want to walk midday, go to a store and walk around! You’ll be both visually stimulated and exercising

Walking may seem mundane or simply not as vigorous as other forms of exercise, but it’s one of the easiest and most important ways to keep your body moving. According to the Arthritis Foundation, walking can help these core health concerns:

  • Reduce risk of stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure
  • Stop the loss of bone mass, particularly those with osteoporosis
  • Consistency can lead to weight loss maintenance 
  • Improvement in sleep and decrease likelihood of insomnia 
  • Joint support and cartilage stimulation
  • Reduce Alziehmer’s risk

The reasons to incorporate walking into your routine are endless – and the Summer time is no different. 

Indoor Anaerobic Exercises

Anaerobic exercises are strength training – such as yoga, pilates, HIIT, weight lifting, and more. Luckily, these are often done indoors, so the Summer heat won’t be a bother.

These are workouts that you can find a class for – but depending on your area, they can be either out of budget, or possibly too much of a commute. 

Luckily, there are plenty of online resources to assist you in doing yoga or pilates right at home – whether it’s before your workday or before you go to bed, squeezing in some strength training for a half hour can be beneficial for your health. 

According to Piedmont, anaerobic exercises assist with: 

  • Strengthening bones
  • Muscle building
  • Maintaining muscle mass

This is a bit more of an advanced method, but for many who regularly workout outdoors throughout the year, it may be an easy way to fit fitness into their daily routine without being in the heat.

Swimming

Not only is this fun, but it’s doable for people of all ages, and it’s a great low-impact sport. Whether you have a pool you can use, or a beach nearby, swimming can offer something for everyone. 

Some benefits, according to Better Health, include:

  • Working out nearly every muscle in the body
  • Low impact sport for many who are elderly and/or have rehabilitation
  • Therapeutic for many with conditions and injuries 
  • An easy and interactive exercise for children and most pregnant women
  • Helps with cardiovascular health

Of course, prior to diving in, you want to ensure that the body of water you’re swimming in is safe and clean, and that you know how to properly swim. 

A large benefit of swimming is that you’re in water – it’s the perfect way to ensure you won’t experience any overheating.

Another large benefit of swimming, and why many people participate in it year-round, is that it can be done both indoors and outdoors – and it’s one of the few sports that is accessible to people with disabilities and/or fitness restrictions.

Many physical therapists use swimming as a rehabilitative tool, since it’s low impact, and so the Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of this activity. 

Conclusion

Depending on the area you live in, it may be much more difficult to enjoy physical activities outdoors, but there are ways around that.

With a bit of creativity and planning, your routine doesn’t need to be jeopardized due to the heat.