Guide to Summer Health

What comes to mind when you envision summer? The resplendent blossoms of floral gardens? Perhaps the sweet fragrance of fresh cut grass? The first savory sip of that southern-cherished sun-brewed iced tea? Maybe it’s the excitement of an impending beach vacation or a weekend camping expedition. Whatever the case, it’s no secret that we love summer.

I’d like to introduce to you, a different way of looking at health and weight loss in the summer. As of late, I’ve begun seeing summer as the Season of Enjoyment, because people are more inclined to get out and be active during the summer months. The biggest problem I’ve had with this in recent years is that I just didn’t know what to get out and do! So instead of allowing my readers to sit inside and complain of boredom, as I’ve often done in the past, this year I’m going to be providing you with a list of things you can do to be more active.

Now, before we get started let me say this: Not everything I’m going to suggest will be strictly for the purpose of the intense calorie burning exercise. For the most part, we just want to have some fun, right? Yet, there’s no reason we can’t include a bit of activity to help keep our goals in-check. You’ll start to notice that just forcing yourself to get off the couch and getting out will heavily influence your lifestyle. So, no you may not get out and burn 500 calories (though you could), but you’re not sitting in front of the TV either. As I’ve said before, something is better than nothing, and if that “something” involves fun, well, it’s fun!

Things to do for summer fun

Take a stroll through the park. Kicking things off slowly, go for a walk or a jog at a local park. The views and fragrance provide enough worth in themselves, but the added level of activity can help you shed those extra pounds!

Go for a bike ride. Have a bicycle? Use it for short-distance traveling and save yourself some gas. Gas prices have already risen dramatically in the past week, so one can only expect them to continue this trend. Up for a little adventure? Find a local trail and a do a bit of sightseeing!

Scale the rugged terrain. Up for a bit more of a challenging “walk”? How about tackling a hike? Hiking is a great way to strengthen your lower body, and a great way to enjoy some spectacular scenery.

Climb a tree. I’m not kidding. Maybe do this while you’re out for a hike so no one is watching… but in any case, climbing a tree will require the use of multiple muscles simultaneously, and like I said before – more muscle = higher metabolism.

Rock climbing. Have a problem with trees? Try rock climbing instead. There are many “rock walls” around these days which feature the added safety measures of a harness.

Visit an amusement park. If you enjoy roller coasters and other such rides and attractions, visit a local amusement park. The (sometimes) long lines and large parks will have you standing and walking for hours. Just be sure to avoid all those tempting fried foods!

Catch fireflies. Here in the south, we call them lightning bugs – whatever you call them, it’s likely you’ve done this before as a child. Here you have added a bonus of passing down this fun activity to your children (if you have them). Start a tradition! Just remember to set them free when you’ve had your fun.

Go berry picking. Berries are a good source of nutrients, and while you shouldn’t overindulge, it’s always nice to have a free snack! Be wary of the not so stomach friendly berries out there. If you’re not sure, look them up or just play it safe and pass them by.

Start a garden. While we’re on the subject of free food, why not just grow your own? If you don’t know where to start there are plenty of guides online to help you get going.

Have a game. Ever played sports? Never played sports? It doesn’t matter, get together with some friends and just have fun. Make up your own game for that matter!

Go swimming. Chances are you’re going to do this at some point this summer anyway. Instead of just floating and soaking up water, get your heart beating a bit by actually swimming.

Build a sandcastle. If you’re planning a trip to the beach, build a sandcastle. Whether it’s a bucket-shaped mound of sand with a moat or a first prize winner in a competition, shovel some sand and put your skills (or lack of skills) to the test!

Go fishing. Take the long route to your favorite fishing hole and cast away.

White water rafting. I’ve only done this once, but I had an absolute blast! You can find local companies with a quick, simple search online.

Get caught in a summer storm. Normally, you’d make your outdoor plans in mind of the weather forecast. Why not, just once, do the opposite? Go for a walk with every intention of getting caught in the storm. What happens next is up to you, but it’s certain to be interesting.

Go shoeless. Air those smelly feet in the open! Take a short walk through the grass barefoot, and feel nature between your toes for a change.

Wade through a creek. Equip a pair of shorts, or just roll up your pants. Wade through a creek, skip rocks, or just gaze into the water observing the wide array of life.

Try hang gliding. Have a thirst for adventure? Give hang gliding a go!

Attend an outdoor concert. Night or day, plugged or unplugged – it really doesn’t matter, does it? Music lovers just get it.

Fun with friends. No matter what you do this summer, make time for your friends. Regardless of the activity, adding in just one, or a few, good friends is sure to make the day a bit brighter.
I already told you, it’s not all about intense workouts; sometimes having fun is just as important. You’ll eventually get where you want to be, but if you enjoy the journey, you’re guaranteed to cherish the results. A HUGE cause of weight gain and fat retention is stress; so this summer, let’s shed the stress and the pounds. Let’s bask in the excitement; let’s have fun like adulthood has yet to happen. You may not believe it, but it is possible to be healthy and enjoy life at the same time. Just try to not lose your job in the process!