By Michelle Kennedy
I know structured exercise isn’t usually on the agenda when you’re relaxing and soaking up a long summer weekend. But it’s actually a wonderful time to break free from what you consider working out to try something new. Forget the gym or your predetermined run or walk. Instead, explore the great outdoors and try something that makes you happy. Your only requirement is to choose something that gets your heart rate up. Here are a few ideas for being active that will allow you to spend time with family and give you a heart-right workout without the fuss of counting sets, reps and minutes!
Canoeing or kayaking: Whether you navigate some rapids or troll a stream, this is a unique way to get into nature and sneak in some cardio along with upper-body strength training. Don’t worry if you’re a first-timer, just look up local canoe/kayak tours to connect with a guide.
Hiking: Sure, long walks in the woods can make stress melt away, but add in some hills and it’s hard to beat hiking for a leg-burning, heart-pumping, balance-improving workout. Navigating rocks, tree roots and shrubs can keep you on your toes. Even if you have only 15 minutes, you still have enough time to complete an easy 0.5- to 1-mile loop.
Jumping the Waves: Heading to the shore? Don’t forget your suit and maybe some water shoes because jumping around in the waves or treading water in the ocean is a great heart-healthy way to work your entire body.
Biking: Grab a helmet and head to a trail for a great way to burn some serious calories. If you can speak in short, choppy sentences you’re working hard enough. Enjoy!
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