Easy Ideas for Staying Active This Summer
June 8, 2022
By Danielle Andersen
Cool Off in the Pool, Take Your Grandchild for a Walk, or Take Your Stretching Routine Outside – Staying Fit Has Never Been More Fun
Summer is here, and we need to take advantage of this great weather while it lasts!
Summer is great for older adults looking to stay active, because there are so many fun things to do outside. Physical activity is good for people of all ages, but it is especially important as we age. Fitness can help with:
- Reducing your risk of chronic illness and disease
- Improving your immune and digestive systems
- Managing your body weight (so you can have more fun at all those summer barbecues)
- Increasing your bone health and strength
- Promoting heart and cardiovascular health
- Improving your mental health
- Providing opportunities to meet new friends and old acquaintances
- Building the sort of strength that can prevent falls
- Improving your quality of sleep
- Reducing hypertension
- Keeping you more focused and giving you more energy
Ideas for Staying Fit This Summer
All that sounds pretty good, right? So maybe you are motivated to put a little fitness into your daily routine but don’t want to go back to your same old exercises? Here are some great new ideas for getting a little exercise this summer.
- Take your grandkids for a walk: When you have a little one in tow, a simple walk around the block can be a mission of discovery. Their minds are open to new experiences, and you get to share these moments with them. A walk with your grandchild is the perfect, stress-free way to get your steps in and spend quality time with the people you love the most.
- Take your normal routine outdoors: Do you already stretch, lift weights, or perform standing, sitting, or prone exercises? Simply take them outside! Use a blanket, a yoga mat, or a park bench to perform the same exercises you have done all winter indoors.
- Cool off in the swimming pool: Swimming is one of the best exercises there is, particularly for older adults. Even without engaging in lap swimming, when you're in the pool, you can enjoy gentle resistance training and exercise that will not stress your joints. Not up for full-scale swimming? No problem! Even paddling around holding on to a float counts as exercise. Beating the heat is just the icing on the cake.
- Commit to doing something you have never done before. Summer can be a great time to try something new, and chances are, your local community parks and recreation department or a nearby senior group have classes you can sign up for that are geared toward people just like yourself. This can be a great time to try something new, like yoga, which may have outdoor classes at a park. Yoga improves strength, balance, and flexibility, and can ease the symptoms of arthritis and benefit your heart. It can also help you to relax and sleep better at night. Not up for trying something new alone? Grab a friend and convince them to join you. Ready for something that may be really different? Try a dance class – salsa, tango, or even square dancing!
Lacking the Motivation to Exercise? Here Are Some Tips and Tricks
Exercise is not always easy, especially if you are already tired. That is why you may need a few tips and tricks to motivate you to get out and get fit. Here are some ideas you can try:
- Make it interesting and enjoyable: Exercise does not have to be work, and there are no rules that you must follow. Be creative – find things that you enjoy. Use a variety of exercises to keep things interesting. Try something new and, if you like it, stick with it.
- Find ways to fit exercise into your day: You are more likely to exercise if it is convenient. Exercise first thing in the morning to get it over with, or combine exercise with something that is already a part of your day, like shopping for groceries. Don’t have 30 minutes a day to work out? 10 minutes three times a day is just as good.
- Make exercise social: Everything is better with friends, right? Invite a friend along for a walk, sign up for a class with a neighbor, or use family gatherings as a time to play sports or do outdoor activities.
- Keep track of how much you exercise: Even if you are exercising, you might not be sure if you are seeing any benefits. A great way around this is to track your activities. Time your walks to see if you improve, use a fitness tracker to view your heart rate, or count miles walked to calculate how many calories you have burned.
- Don’t let setbacks get you down: It’s OK to slip now and again. Taking a vacation? Visit the gym in your hotel. Catch a cold? Wait until you feel better and then restart your physical activity again. Did your exercise buddy move away? Ask another friend to go on your daily walk or join an exercise class at your local senior center.
Exercise is great for your health and great for your spirit. If you are looking for some more ideas for how to safely exercise this summer, call the experts at the Nelson Wellness Center at (320) 335-6635. Their personal trainers can help you design a fitness plan to meet your goals.
In additional to personal training, the Nelson Wellness Center’s warm water pool, group fitness classes and cardio and strength room are excellent alternatives when you want to bring your exercise indoors. Learn more about the Nelson Wellness Center.