Summer Workout Guide: Putting the Fun in Fitness

By: SARAH DAVIS

Edited By: CHRISTINA COLAVECCHIA

Tanned skin, beach hair, and getting as much sleep as possible are probably starting to flood your mind as the last few days of school begin to wrap up. Maybe you’ve already made a summer to-do-list filled with party ideas, shopping sprees, and sandy vacations. After a long year of stress and school, just the thought of getting on a treadmill every day during your summer vacation sounds so uninviting. This is one reason why society has lingered away from the empowering environment of the weight room to the all-too-familiar cushions of their living rooms: people don’t want to waste their time being bored. Here are some fun workout ideas to share with your friends that will spruce up your plans and leave you feeling energized and healthy all summer.

At the beach:

Body Surfing = Propelling your body along with a wave toward the coast, without any device to keep you afloat, uses the abdominals. Work your quadriceps and calves by running back out to the water. Thirty minutes of these exercises is a great and fun way to get fit!

Sunrise Yoga = Going through a series of stretches and strength positions allows the body to use muscles that are not used to being worked. With just a few friends and a portable iPod dock, wake up early enough to see the sunrise at the beach. The combination of the waves, music, sun, and strength exercises will keep your body energized for the day. If you think yoga is just for girls, think again! A new breed of yoga, called Broga, is beginning to emerge, according to MSN fitness writer Cari Nierenberg. “A lot of guys come here after years and years of sports, but their bodies are out of whack,” says Robert Sidoti, co-founder of the Broga movement. “The class focuses on balance, building strength and an awareness of breath.”

Go for a walk = According to the Mayo Clinic, walking “reduces the risk of diabetes, lowers your blood pressure, and improves your mood.” At the same time, you can enjoy a conversation, or the scenic view of the ocean. Make sure to walk where the sand meets the water because your feet will sink in a little, providing another toner for your feet, ankles, and calves. To increase this effect, pick up the pace to a power walk.

At the house:

The Deck of Strength = Take a deck of cards and assign a different exercise to each suit (for example, hearts = abs; diamonds = lunges/squats; spades = pushups; clubs = jumping rope). Pick 10 cards from the deck and do that exercise for whatever number the card shows. For example, if you picked the ten of spades, do ten pushups. American Idol country star Carrie Underwood uses this as a fun way to workout, according to Self magazine. She spices up this routine by assigning a one mile run to a joker!

Wii = Rainy Days? Gym closed for holidays? The Wii Fit Plus offers yoga, aerobics, and even snowboarding. Friday night sleepovers with my friends always involve at least an hour of Just Dance 3. We always see who can do the biggest, drawn out moves, which leaves us sweating by the end.

London 2012 Pool Party Series = Throw a pool party during this year’s summer Olympics. Make the parties sports-themed by setting up a volleyball net, basketball hoop, or even a dodgeball court. Create teams, get competitive, and burn some calories while watching the pros live on television. Who knows? Maybe you’ll uncover a passion for beach volleyball that you never knew!

At the office:

Here are some summer jobs that require physical activity as part of the job description. Not only will you be making money, but you’ll be getting fit too.

Lifeguarding = “If you’re in a rescue, you’re required to not only carry your own weight, but someone else’s too,” says Kiersten Wonsock, a lifeguard at the Nocatee Water Park. Lifeguards go through intense training to get their certification. Wonsock describes having to retrieve a ten-pound brick from the bottom of the pool as a training exercise. “You really have to be strong in all aspects of swimming,” she says. According to a 2011 New York Times article, lifeguards at Jones Beach and Robert Moses State park in New York must be able to complete fitness tests each year before returning for another season. What great motivation to stay in shape!

Nurseries = “Holding and rocking crying babies can be a real workout, especially if they need you to be walking around with them,” says Elizabeth Trifiletti, who works at The Ponte Vedra Inn and Club Nursery in Ponte Vedra, FL, “At my job, leading beach games, summer camps, and parties with the kids can involve hula hooping, swimming, dancing, and other physical activities.” Baby Barbells, a book written by Dr. David Katz, describes great ways to stay fit by raising children.

Zumba instructor = According to Zumba.com, Zumba is “an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired calorie-burning dance fitness-party that’s moving millions of people toward joy and health.” Getting a Zumba teaching license at gyms such as the YMCA is a great way to stay fit while earning some cash for the summer. In an interview with Shape magazine, Tanya Beardsley, a Zumba instructor in New York City, said that she was originally just a dancer and very anti-fitness. When she heard about Zumba, she immediately got involved, and is now extremely passionate about eating healthy and staying fit. Beardsley was a host for the 2011 Zumba DVD series and is featured in many of its video games. Check out her interview here.

Working out doesn’t always mean spending thirty minutes a day on a stationary bike. With proper nutrition, these summer workout ideas will enhance your overall fitness and lead you to living a healthier lifestyle,  while having fun all the way.

“Perfection is an illusion…Imperfection is beautiful!” ~Tanya Beardsley

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