Workout Wednesday - Summer Ideas

SUMMER!  I love summer!  It is my favorite time of the year, and I love being outside!  Now that the weather is warm and nice it's time to ditch the boring exercise routine and switch it up!  Summer is so great to get outside and get moving in new ways or ways you haven't been able to since last summer.  Here are some ideas and tips to get you started.

Walking has been called the lifetime exercise because it is easy and anyone can do it.  It is easy on the joints, you don't need any equipment, and you will still be burning calories!  Start out by aiming for 20-30 minutes at a brisk pace 3-5 days a week.  You can break that up through out your day(two fifteen-minute walks or three ten-minute walks), so even if you are busy, you can get it in!  Walking is a weight bearing exercise meaning it is good for your bone health.  Do it as a family, take the dog for a walk, take the neighbor's dog or invite the neighbor out with you.

Jogging is a great exercise for your lungs and heart, and it helps to improve your stamina.  Jogging will burn calories quicker, but it does put more stress on your joints and bones.  Start slowly, walk for 5 min, try to jog for 1-2, and return to walking.  As your stamina increases, you will be able to jog longer and walk less of the time.  Check out Couch to 5k for a structured plan.  

As a general rule you don't want to increase your time or distance by more than 10% each week.  If you are spending more time jogging, you will want to get a good pair of running shoes so you have the support you need.  I read reviews on amazon, and always find awesome deals on new shoes there!  One study published in Internal Medicine found that aerobic activity like running may be as effective as medication for treating depression in some people.  Awesome!  Get making those feel-good endorphins!

Cycling is another great aerobic exercise, and it allows you to explore the community around you more than running. (you get to go so many more miles!)  It is important to make sure you bike is fitted properly to you, and most bike shops can help you with that.  Look up bike trails in your community for fun places to cycle.  This is another fun one to do with the family to get everyone out there and moving.  Cycling works different muscle groups than running, so for a total body work out, mix it up during the week.  Cycling isn't weight bearing like jogging, so couple it with strength training a couple times during the week.

Swimming is one of the easiest activities on your joints.  If you have joint or muscle problems, this activity will allow you to exercise pain free.  It is cardio, but also tones your legs, arms and core.  Swimming can increase your stamina, help to ward of chronic disease and may also reduce stress.  Perfect exercise for a hot day, just make sure to lather on the sunscreen!  And don't forget the sunscreen chapstick!

Hiking is a perfect way to do exercise that doesn't feel like exercise!  You won't even feel like you are exercising, but the up and down movements gives you an incredible leg work out, along with cardiovascular benefits.  Look up hiking trails in your area and make a family activity out of it.  Take back packs with water and snacks, as well as the bug spray and sunscreen.

This is me hiking in Sedona recently.  Yes, I'm wearing flip flops, my hiking shoes are in my backpack.  I alternated between barefoot, flip flops, and shoes, thanks to a blister from hiking two previous days.  Lesson learned, get better hiking shoes!

What are your favorite activities to do in the summer?  What gets your heart rate up, but is fun at the same time?  Share in the comments section below :)

Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today.  Thanks for reading!  If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right.  Also, we would love to have you join us!  Join this site in the "followers" box to the right.  "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd) and pinterest using the the boxes on the right.  Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

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