During the winter months, when it is cold, gloomy and possibly snowy outside, your options for exercise are limited. However as warmer months approach, with sunshine and songbirds heralding its arrival, there are so many fantastic opportunities to be active and have fun at the same time. Here are some great summer activities that are not only enjoyable, but will also help you stay in shape.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Not only are you able to appreciate the warm weather in a canoe or kayak, but you also get to spend some time on the water. There are kayak and canoe rental companies all over the United States, and not only will they outfit you with your kayak, canoe, gear and life jackets, but most will also have bus service either to or from the river tips they offer.
While kayaking is best for those who are at least in their tween years, canoeing can be enjoyed by even younger families – just plop the little ones in the center of the canoe while parents paddle. Maneuvering your vessel down the river is a good workout, and it’s nice to take breaks. We always bring a cooler along full of drinks, sandwiches and fresh fruit for a break halfway through our journey.
Our family of four has been hiking together since before my children could walk – that’s right – we put them in those cumbersome hiking backpacks! I don’t know how much they got out of the experience at such a young age, but hiking has proven to be an activity we have enjoyed for many years now.
State, county and national parks abound and if you do a quick online search, chances are you will find one with hiking trails near you. While the big name parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite are fantastic, we’ve found a favorite hike just minutes from our home at a county park. It is fun to go on the same hike in the spring, summer and fall, then compare how what we see on our hike changes with the seasons.
There isn’t a better way to cool off in the heat of summer than to take a dip in a pool, lake or ocean! Rather than just sit on the side and watch the kids frolic, get in and have some fun too. If you are fortunate to be near a beach, play in the waves or take a walk on the shoreline.
Personally I am land locked in Ohio, but one my favorite moments during a day at the local pool is when I hear that adult swim whistle. Rather than deal with the kids pestering me for snack money, I jump in the deep end with a friend and we tread water together while we chat. The pool is kid free and peaceful – pure bliss, and great way to burn a few calories!