Make a Splash!
As we inch closer to the official start of the summer season and kick off another work week on a hot note here in New York City, I thought I’d offer a fun suggestion for how to stay active and beat the heat this season: GO GET WET!
In case you didn’t know it, swimming laps is one of the best ways to get all your major muscle groups in motion. It burns calories and improves cardiovascular health.
According to the freedieting.com website, at my age, height and weight, if I swim laps for just 30 minutes, I’ll burn between 282 – 295 calories. Add a couple of tabatas to the mix and I’ve got a great workout! So, I say whenever you have the opportunity, jump on in and enjoy! (And if you’re lucky enough to get some vacation time at the ocean or near a lake, those natural environments can add even more challenges to your swim.)
Don’t know how to swim, but feel comfortable enough to hang out in the shallow end of a pool? Walk your way or even jog from one side to the other. Hang out on the side of the wall and do leg raises and/or bicycles. And there’s always the “old-fashioned” treading water. If you’re lucky enough to get invited to a backyard BBQ with a pool, you can burn a few calories in between rounds of food or beverages by cooling off and doing some exercises under water. Another benefit: you can still socialize at the same time!
For all you parents out there, go ahead and join your kids in some of their pool games and enjoy some calorie-burning bonding time! Maybe this is the summer you treat the family to one of those pool-ready basketball backboards so you can shoot some hoops and perfect your slam-dunk in the water. (I can tell you, when I was enjoying my Jamaica vacation in March, the one afternoon I joined in a pretty intense water polo game, I was seriously ready for my nap afterward!)
Don’t have a pool, but you do have a lawn? Why not set up a sprinkler and get the blood pumping by chasing the kids around for a game of sprinkler tag? No kids – no problem! Who says grown-ups can’t have some fun, too?
For all you landlubbers, there’s always badminton, frisbee, wiffle ball and dodge ball. It can be fun to use some childhood favorites to add some variety to your workout routine. Of course, for all these outdoor activities, don’t forget to apply and re-apply the sunscreen and stay hydrated with non-alcoholic drinks, preferably water.
This has always been my favorite time of year for adding some extra fun to my typical fitness routine. By taking advantage of Mother Nature’s warm temperament, it’s prime time to find activities that get your heart rate up while keeping you smiling and moving forward on the path to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!