May 19, 2016
Summer’s arrival means warm weather, vacation time and planning new adventures. And because summer also heralds swimsuit season, it’s also when many people start to fret about their fitness. Why not combine exercise and adventure at the same time?
So if you want to break from your gym routine, there are ways to work out and take in the great outdoors at the same time. Try one of these activities to work your body in a different way.
Get out on the water for a great change of pace and get an awesome workout in the process. According to the American Council on Exercise, an average-sized person can burn more than 280 calories per hour while kayaking. Though many think of kayaking as an upper body workout for the arms and shoulders, actually a great deal of the effort falls to the back and abdominal regions, the body’s core. The proper kayak stroke also requires quite of bit of flexibility. On top of all that, it’s hard to beat the scenery out on the water.
Itching to channel your inner Katniss Everdeen? Archery has shot up in popularity in recent years because of the fit and ferocious heroine of the Hunger Games movies. The physical strength required to draw a bow and accurately fire an arrow develops upper body muscles in the arms, back, chest, shoulders and, of course, the core. It also requires intense focus and concentration, so much of what archery offers is akin to yoga.
You don’t have to lug a heavy backpack through the woods or mountains mile after mile, day after day to get the benefits associated with hiking. Day hikers carrying just a few items can enjoy a great cardiovascular workout in fantastic stress-relieving environments. Day hiking can improve your blood pressure and blood-sugar levels while building up your legs, calves, glutes, hamstrings and quads. Because hiking is a weight-bearing activity, studies have shown it boosts your bone density as well. Then there’s the mood-improving factor of trekking along a shoreline, or through a wooded area or to the top of a scenic overlook.
So prepare for summer by trying something new that will also improve your body and spirit. Get started by seeking out the right equipment at a reputable outdoor retailer, who can guide you through the options and put you on the road to fun and fitness.