Outdoor Summer Activities

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There are plenty of reasons to get outside and enjoy the sunshine this summer. Spending time outdoors can increase energy, improve your mood and burn calories. Just remember to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated!

Below are some fun outdoor activities to get you moving:

  • Swimming: This full-body workout burns about 476 calories per hour.
  • Hiking: Burn around 442 calories per hour while spending quality time outdoors.
  • Biking: This low-impact activity burns about 476 calories per hour and strengthens your legs.
  • Volleyball: You can burn around 544 calories per hour playing this beach sport.

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Swimming for Exercise

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Swimming is often a summertime favorite for children, but it’s also a great form of exercise for individuals of all ages. What sets swimming apart from other workouts?

  • It’s low impact, which is ideal for anyone with overworked or injured joints.
  • It’s a form of resistance training that strengthens muscles all over your body, especially your core.
  • It’s an aerobic exercise, strengthening your heart and improving lung efficiency.

If you’re a novice swimmer, start slowly to build up how long and far you’re able to swim.

 

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

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Personal trainer helping woman at gymWhen it comes to physical activity, any exercise is better than none, and a lot is better than a little. Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving, but messages promoting exercise often lack a strict definition of the amount of exercise needed to attain health benefits. In the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) concluded that adults need two types of physical activity each week to improve overall health: aerobics and strength training. HHS recommends:

  • Two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week and two or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups;
  • One hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week and two or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups; or
  • Two or more days a week of an equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups.

Yoga people training and meditating in warrior pose outside by bModerate-intensity aerobic activities include brisk walking, water aerobics, bicycling slower than 10 mph, ballroom dancing or gardening. Vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise includes jogging, running, swimming and bicycling faster than 10 mph. Major muscle groups include legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms.

Exercises can be completed in as little as 10-minute intervals, while still providing health benefits.

However, keep in mind that these numbers are just the minimum recommendations. Older adults are advised to perform additional physical activity. Moreover, all adults will gain greater health benefits for performing any physical activity above the minimum recommendations.

 

Low-Impact Exercise

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While most people desire the health benefits of exercise, not all exercise can or should be performed by everyone. For many people, health conditions or long-term injuries prevent them from taking up some of the more demanding forms of exercise.

bigstock-Runner-feet-running-on-road-cl-33686270If you fall into one of those categories, low-impact exercise may be what you’re looking for. Designed to limit stress on the body, low-impact exercise can still be intensive enough to provide cardiovascular and musculoskeletal benefits. You don’t need to be a mountain climber or marathoner to obtain rewarding levels of personal fitness, but you do need regular exercise in order to maintain your health and well-being. Consider the following forms of exercise as a way to meet your fitness goals:

  • Walking. The simplest form of exercise is still one of the best. This low-cost, low-stress workout will benefit your body and mind without taking a toll on your body. Just make sure your shoes are up to the distance and terrain challenges.
  • Swimming is one of the most grueling exercises out there. However, it can be done by almost anyone since its demands on the body’s joints are practically non-existent.
  • Elliptical trainer. This stationary exercise machine provides a full-body cardio workout while limiting impact on joints.
  • Cycling. Whether stationary or in motion, pedaling a bike burns major calories without punishing your body.

Training

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While building muscles is a common fitness goal, it’s not what every person needs or wants. Many people find that endurance training is more up their alley. Both strength and endurance training boast health benefits, but concentrating on one type may be more beneficial for you based on your needs or goals.

bigstock-Running-sport--trail-runners--47575639Endurance training, or aerobic exercise, is any physical activity that works large muscle groups and uses more oxygen than while resting. The goal of aerobic exercise is to increase cardiovascular endurance. Examples of aerobic exercise include aerobics, cycling, swimming, running, walking, hiking and fast-paced sports like tennis and soccer.

Personal trainer helping woman at gymStrength training is designed to firm, strengthen and tone your muscles, as well as to improve balance, coordination and bone strength. Strength training is also called resistance training or anaerobic exercise, and includes body weight exercises (pushups, pull-ups, and crunches), free weights, weight machines and resistance tubing.

Depending on your fitness goals, you may want to focus more heavily on one type of training. However, a balance of the different styles is recommended for optimal health benefits and fitness level.

Summertime Swimming

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Summer is a great time to go swimming, and pools and beaches come to life with families enjoying the water. Swimming is a form of cardio exercise as well as a fun way to get a reprieve from the hot sun. Follow these tips to keep your swimming safe:Happy family in the pool, having fun in the water, mother with t

• Never swim alone. The buddy system should always be in effect, and it’s best if there is a lifeguard present.
• Always supervise children who are in or near water. If a child is missing, check the water first—seconds count if the child is underwater.
• Do not dive in shallow or unfamiliar water, and be aware of hidden obstacles that might be in the water.
• Stay hydrated by drinking water; avoid caffeine and especially alcohol.
• Don’t swallow the water you’re swimming in, and avoid swimming with open wounds—you don’t want to allow harmful germs into your body.
• Reapply sunscreen frequently; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) no longer allows sunscreen products to claim to be “waterproof” because, depending on the sunscreen you choose, they typically only offer the stated SPF protection for up to 40 or 80 minutes when in water.