Last week was the summer solstice, and summer is officially in full swing.
While many of us enjoy the long days, fun in the sun, and extra time off with family this season offers, it can be hard to stay active in the summer heat. Still, it’s important to stay active and get some kind of exercise every day.
In this article I’ll share a few of my favorite ways to stay active during the long hot days of summer. For more ideas, also see my list of good gentle exercises for weight loss.
7 Ways to Stay Active in the Summer Heat
1. Practice Yoga
Yoga is popular for a number of great reasons. It’s a low-impact exercise option that develops strength and flexibility, flushes toxins, and benefits digestion and other systems of the body. You can can even expect to burn anywhere from 180 and 460 calories during a yoga session, depending on factors like the style of yoga you’re doing and the length and intensity of the session.
Excellent yoga instructors and studios can be found throughout Tampa Bay area, and some even offer yoga classes on the beach. You can also roll up your mat and walk to your local park, or, practice right from the comfort of home.
2. Practice Tai Chi
Tai Chi’s gentle movements and health benefits like improving balance have made it especially popular among older adults. But don’t let that stop you from taking up a Tai Chi practice at any age. In addition to the physical health benefits Tai Chi offers, it also helps develop a meditative state of mind and controlled breathing, two keys to overall wellbeing.
Many Tai Chi classes are available outside in the mornings, making it an ideal option to stay active in the summer heat. You can greet the sun, get some fresh air, and move your body before the day really heats up. Plus, you’ll go into the day in a calm mind state with extra attention on your breath.
I practice tai chi with Master Shifu at Sadana Center, located in Fire + Stone Shamanic Healing Center in Clearwater.
3. Go Swimming
Another great way to stay active in the summer heat is swimming. Swimming is low-impact and burns a surprising amount of calories. And, because you’re in the water, you’ll naturally stay cooler than you would during other exercise activities. Whether you prefer the ocean, the bay, or your nearest pool, summer is the perfect time to go for a swim.
If being in the water sounds nice but swimming isn’t your thing, try water aerobics. Many of our local pools and gyms offer classes that are appropriate for all ages, body types, and fitness levels.
4. Go Paddling
If you’d rather be on the water than in the water, grab a couple of paddles and hop on a kayak or paddle board. Summer is the perfect time of year and Florida is the perfect place for kayaking and paddle boarding. Whether you make them part of your regular routine or an occasional way to mix things up, paddle sports are fun way to get your exercise and take in the extra benefits of time outside on the water. Just remember to watch your temperature and sun exposure. It gets hot out there this time of year, especially during the midday sun.
5. Take a Sunrise or Sunset Walk
Walking is one of my favorite forms of daily exercise. It’s gentle, simple, and doesn’t cost a dollar. All you need is a decent pair of shoes and a safe place to walk. You can watch the sun come up over the water or enjoy a sunset in your local park while you stretch your legs and enjoy the fresh air. Or, just go for a nice walk right from your front door and enjoy the sights and sounds of your local community.
If you like to be social while you get your exercise, walking is the perfect activity. Get together with a friend or two, lace up your shoes, and go for a walk. Setting a walking schedule with your group will also help keep you accountable on days when you may be tempted to skip it and stay at home. Once you get to chatting with your friends the time will fly and you’ll be glad you got out.
6. Hit the Links
Many people come to Florida to enjoy our warm weather and abundant golf courses. Golf season is in full swing all year here, including in the summer. It can get hot this time of year though, so early mornings and evenings are often the best tee times. For a fun way to get your exercise in before work, see if your local course offers a 9-hole “early bird” discount on weekday mornings.
7. Hit the Gym
Another popular way to stay active year round is going to the gym. Gyms are usually climate controlled, so they’ll be cool all day long, making gym workouts a good option if you like to exercise during your lunch break or in the afternoon after work.
Most gyms offer an array of workout options like strength training, cardio, group classes, and personal training. You can explore the different options, see which you like best, and avoid getting bored or stuck in a rut. Plus, gyms can be great places to socialize and make new friends.
However you chose to stay active in the summer heat, don’t forget to hydrate. Hydration is an important key to weight loss and wellness. In general, I recommend that patients in my weight loss program drink 128 oz of liquid throughout each day. Depending on the heat and your activity level, you may need to drink even more this time of year. For more information and ways to help stay hydrated see my healthy hydration tips.
I hope this article gave you good ideas for ways to stay active in the summer heat. Moving your body every day is important for weight loss, weight management, and all around health and longevity. Remember, the best forms of exercise are the ones you enjoy!