Summer is the perfect time to set an exercise plan in motion. Warm temperatures, longer daylight hours and ample outdoor opportunities allow exercisers to burn calories while enjoying the vibrant season. So why not have fun by trying more invigorating and challenging workouts on the weekend?
Outdoor activities such as biking, hiking and inline skating allow you to reap up to six times more fat-blasting, body-shaping benefits than cruising around the neighborhood on foot. And you don’t have to be a hard-core athlete or fitness freak to get the most out of them. Here are some fun ideas for summer exercises that will leave you feeling fit and having fun:
• Swimming — A perfect pastime for long summer days, swimming is actually a great form of exercise. Not only do you get to keep cool while being active, but you can burn plenty of calories. Generally, a person weighing 150 pounds can burn 360 calories in 30 minutes of swimming. There are many exercise options when in a swimming pool — tread water, swim strokes, perform water aerobics and more.
• Hiking — Enjoying the great outdoors is part of making the most of summertime. To get in a little exercise while communing with nature, grab your hiking boots and head to the nearest park. Hiking, especially in hilly terrain, is akin to strenuous exercise. Just make sure to pack some sunscreen, comfortable socks, a hat and maybe even a walking stick for sure footing. Hiking can burn up to 400 calories per hour and improve cardiovascular fitness. Plus, hiking builds stronger, leaner thighs and firms the body from the waist down. For local hiking clubs, check out the American Hiking Society.
• Cycling — Riding a bike is the perfect exercise; it’s a fun way to work those leg muscles. Biking burns 500 to 700 calories per hour, depending on speed and terrain. It builds muscle in the thighs, calves and caboose. Stay safe while riding by wearing a helmet. Cycle shorts provide padding and wick away moisture, preventing chafing. For biking trails, consult www.bicycling.com. If you don’t own a bike or the equipment, Ultima Fitness can help. Ultima offers indoor cycling classes on a daily basis. Check out the group fitness schedule online at www.ultimafitness.com.
• Kayaking — Pulling the paddle against the water is great resistance. It targets shoulders, triceps, biceps, back and core. Burn up to 340 calories per hour for a sculpted upper body. Kayaking is like meditating on water; the perfect vantage point for taking in the abundant wildlife and sea life. Beginners should use an open kayak, or take a lesson to learn how to escape the kayak first. To find local instructors, visit Kayak Online (www.kayakonline.com). For an indoor option, Ultima Fitness has equipment available that can do the job, such as the Concept 2 Rowing Machines. These rowers target the same muscle groups.
• Inline Skating — Sculpt your buns and thighs without pounding your knees. Skating is much less jarring than other high-intensity sports like jogging. It provides a high-adrenaline release from mental baggage and burns 800 calories per hour. Don’t be intimidated. Ease into it by taking lessons. Use an empty parking lot or driveway for practice. For courses in the area, visit the Inline Skating Resource Center (www.iisa.org).
• Ultima Fitness — Not a fan of the summer heat? Try an indoor option at Ultima Fitness. There is no excuse for not having a good workout during the summer months. Come try Ultima’s summer specials such as fitness memberships, personal training sessions and specialty programs like BCx Fusion Boot Camp. For a complete one-hour workout, try one of the group fitness classes. Ultima offers more than 45 classes per week, including Zumba, yoga, indoor cycling and more. If you need assistance, a one-hour session with a certified personal trainer can be scheduled. For an intense workout, try one of the BCx Fusion classes. To find out more about the options, and to take advantage of a free trial workout, visit www.ultimafitness.com.
• Tae Kwon Do — Located inside Ultima Fitness is Xtreme Tae Kwon Do. This program is offered to both children and adults all year long. Each summer, there is a special for the entire family. Children and adults can benefit from this “sun-proof workout” that will strengthen both the mind and body. Parents have seen their children focus better and achieve success in academic studies. Adults are more confident and feel better about themselves with increased energy and concentration. In tae kwon do, you will learn to respect life through mental, physical and philosophical studies. For more information, visit www.wellington taekwondo.com.
All of these activities make great summer exercises, but be proactive and don’t partake in any activity without taking safety precautions. Every day is a great day to work out, so put excuses aside, get out there and have some fun.
For more info., call (561) 795-2823 or visit www.ultimafitness.com.
Tania Artiles is sales and marketing manager at Ultima Fitness/Xtreme Tae Kwon Do.