Today for the first time in a long time, despite the early morning monsoon, I took advantage of the array of outdoor activities hot Florida has to offer. I went kayaking in the Gulf. Of course, if you picked up on the monsoon comment earlier and know a thing or two about the ocean…it was rough out there. But come on, what’s a workout without a little resistance? Plowing through the waves was no doubt fun, but after some heavy breathing, sore abs, and jello-like arms, I realized…I’m getting a killer workout too!
Moral of the story? Get outside and get your calorie burn on with fun activities. Going to the gym everyday can get boring, but outdoors activities with family and friends can stay exciting. So what are some good ideas for outdoor adventures that will give you a workout without counting down the time? Here are a few ideas:
1. Kayaking: Like I said, my arms were screaming uncle by the end of the trip, and I’m sure they, as well as my abs, will be screaming other things tomorrow when I wake up. Kayaking is a great group activity as well as lone meditation sport but don’t feel the need to go extreme and take on the ocean. Paddle a river and simply enjoy the outdoors!
2. Swimming: Remember those days when we were children and made up silly games in the pool? Remember how exhausted we were afterwards? Well…maybe we were on to something there! Swimming is a fantastic workout that uses almost every muscle in the body if properly mixing up our stroke. Another bonus: it’s nice and cool on those hot sunny days.
3. Tennis: Now I may be a bit biased on this one since tennis is my sport, but bias aside, I still highly recommend it. I can attest from many sore mornings after an intense match that tennis works the core, biceps, forearms, entire leg, and gives you cardio, just to name a few. Not only that, but it’s a great social sport and taps into a players competitive spirit making them work harder, thus improving the results of the workout!
4. Rock Climbing: Trust me, I understand that not everyone has access to a grand canyon of sorts. (I live in the flattest part of Florida there is. Don’t believe me? For my drivers test years ago I had to pretend I was parking on a hill to show the instructor the proper procedure). I will never be able to honestly tell my children “I had to walk uphill in the snow both ways” to get to something, but I can tell them I went rock climbing. So, if you’re not blessed with climbable rocks, check your local community for a rock climbing gym. It’s a killer workout that left my arms sore for three days. Not to mention I had a blast with my friends.
5. Rollerblading: Yes, you read that right, I said rollerblading. If you’re anything like me, you just had a flashback to strobe lights and skating in a circle over and over falling on your butt every other lap. Also, if you’re anything like me, you forgot how great of a leg and cardio workout rollerblading could be. 30 minutes of alternating one minute of hard skating and one minute of light skating can exceed 450 calories (www.rollerblading.com). That’s worth the nerdy helmet/pad getup to me!
These are just a few ideas for some fun outdoor activities. There are so many more that I haven’t listed such as running, cycling, and hiking, Don’t be afraid to get up, get creative, and get active. Working out doesn’t have to be a chore, in fact, it should be fun, so make it fun!