By Callie McBride
Isn’t it ironic that summer is the season for which people work the hardest to be in shape, yet it’s also the time that exercise is most neglected? With so many fun holidays, events, and activities to fill up the days, sometimes there is simply no time to squeeze in a workout.
Admit it–your running shorts have suddenly crept to the way back of your drawers, and your ice cream scoops have changed from one to three. No worries, it’s summertime! Still, I don’t know about you, but on days that I miss a workout I cannot help but feel a slight pang of guilt. I mean, in a full twenty-four hours, I couldn’t have gotten my heart rate up once!? It’s such an easy task that does incredible things for your entire body. I am headed to a family lake house this week, determined not to sacrifice exercise for laying around, as wonderful as that does sound. However, I don’t want to fill up my suitcase with tennis shoes, weights, and a bulky yoga mat. The solution? No equipment exercises. Workouts disguised as fun summer activities. It’s genius.
First on the list is swimming–treading water works my arms and legs incredibly. Doing laps counts as cardio, too.
On dry land, sand running is seriously no joke.
Hiking allows me to get in touch with nature and burn out my quads simultaneously.
Planking is a hilarious online viral phenomenon that’s also super effective–work your core anywhere!
Another fun one is partner conditioning; I do this with my younger brother in our backyard. (Shoes optional.) 30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest, performing these types of moves: jump squats, sit-ups, push-ups, scissor squats, front and back lunges. We try to keep each other accountable, and don’t stop until we shake.
Another great one? Yoga! This somewhat intimidating exercise can actually be made very simple: Youtube a yoga class and memorize some easy moves, find a comfortable surface (grass, carpeted room, beach, park), and get to it. Even if you only perform some sun salutations, tree poses, and a child’s pose, you’re still doing your body good.
Then there are squats. There is no excuse for why you cannot do squats anywhere, anytime. (Okay…that might be a stretch.) Sometimes on days when there is no possible way for me to fit in a run, I’ll do 10-20 squats every hour, on the hour. If I do it 9 times throughout the day, thats technically only a 9 minute workout…yes please!
Summer calls for tons of day-trips to the beach or near-by cities. If you’re gone for the day or weekend, walk everywhere! Pack comfortable shoes and get yourself moving. You’ll see the area much better than from a car or cab, too! When I spend time at my cottage on Lake Michigan, it’s all too easy to plop myself in a beach chair and soak up the sun all day. But I make a conscious effort to get in exercise during the day by driving to the edge of town, parking, and walking around to pick up coffee and fresh produce.
And finally…dance! Don’t be that person at the outdoor summer concert who is just bobbing his head or tapping her foot. Be daring, look completely foolish, and dance along with the crowd. I’ve been to a number of concerts so far and it has felt so good to let loose and get my blood pumping.
What are your favorite non-equipment exercises to do?