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You have all kinds of ways to stay active and enjoy the summer season. We at Horizon Family Medical Group have come up with a few fun ways to stay fit and safe this summer.

Go swimming

Warm weather means the pools are open. If you’re one of the lucky ones who has a pool, summer is an excellent time to get your exercise in the water. If you don’t have a pool, look for a good community pool option.

Did you know that you can burn between 400-700 calories in an hour just by swimming? [1] Plus, it’s considered one of the perfect types of exercise because you’re incorporating so many muscle groups throughout your body. Strokes like the freestyle and breaststroke can burn lots of calories, but don’t overdo it.

Try paddling

People often don’t think about how leisure activities can actually be great exercise. Consider paddling. Whether it’s a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard, you’re going to get a lot of great exercise while having fun on the water. [2]

Go hiking

Go on a hike. Not only do you get to experience the outdoors, but it’s a great workout. You build your leg muscles, strengthen your core, and build your endurance. Hike to your favorite fishing spot. Or hike to a great campsite. If you’re close to the water, walk along the beach.

Play frisbee

You may not have considered a trip to your local park as a way to get some great exercise, but think of the calories you burn when you’re playing Frisbee, or throwing around the football. You’re running around, moving your arms, and enjoying the outdoors.

Wear a helmet

Wearing a helmet during many summer outdoor activities may seem unnecessary, or even make your head feel hotter, but recovering from a head injury isn’t how you want to spend your summer vacation. If your activity has the potential for head injury, wear a helmet. Just remember to schedule extra water breaks when staying active outdoors. Take your helmet off during break times and let your head cool down. But remember to put your helmet back on before you get started again.

Drink plenty of water

It’s really easy to get dehydrated in the hot summer sun. Make sure you take and drink plenty of water whenever you’re spending time outdoors. In the article, Summer Fitness Dos and Don’ts, the author suggests you use the “lemonade test.” If your urine is even darker than pale lemonade, then you need to drink more water. [3]

Don’t overdo it

We’re talking heat and sun stroke here. Just because the sun is shining doesn’t mean your body is ready to spend all day every day in the sun. Too much activity outdoors with not enough water can cause serious problems (e.g., dehydration, heat stroke). [4] Have fun, but take it slow. If you start getting overheated, come inside for a while. Get a drink, and let your body cool down. Below is a great infographic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

dehydration infographic

(Image source: www.cdc.gov/ephtracking)

 

Sources:

  1. How Many Calories Do You Burn Swimming?: http://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/how-many-calories-do-you-burn-swimming#Overview1
  2. Guide to Summer Fitness: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/summer-fitness-8/summer-fitness
  3. Summer Dos and Don’ts: http://www.oprah.com/health/Summer-Fitness-Dos-and-Donts-Hot-Weather-Fitness-Mistakes
  4. Love Your Summer Workout: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/tips/love-your-summer-workout-10-motivation-tricks/
  5. www.cdc.gov/ephtracking
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