When warm seasons arrive, most of us want to spend more time outside. But the beautiful weather also offers a golden opportunity to get fit. In the spring and summer, you can stay active with outdoor activities and recreational sports, making it easier than ever to hit your fitness goals and stay healthy. You can get in shape while enjoying the sunshine, fresh air, and green trees.
To help you get started, we’re sharing the best ways to get active in the spring and summer, as well as tips for taking care of your body while increasing your activity level in spring. Contact JAG PT to learn more about our sports medicine services, schedule an appointment today
What Are The Best Outdoor Activities for Spring and Summer?
Staying active is important at any age because the physical and mental health benefits include improved heart health, reduced stress and anxiety, stronger bones, and many others. So while the weather is warm, take advantage and get active with any of these outdoor activities:
Hiking is an excellent physical activity because you can go at your own pace. You’ll get your heart pumping, burn calories, and strengthen your lungs while enjoying nature.
Hiking is also good for your mental health. Researchers at Stanford University found that walking in nature actually shifts brain activity, which can reduce your risk for depression.
To get started, find hiking trails near you. You can use free resources like AllTrails or TrailLink or visit a nearby state park. Pack plenty of water, put on a good pair of sneakers or hiking boots, and you’re good to go. Be sure to start with easier trails and shorter distances if you’ve been inactive over the winter so you can get your muscles used to more movement.
Kayaking lets you spend time on the water while getting a fantastic cardiovascular workout. You’ll strengthen your arms, shoulder, lower back, and ab muscles at the same time.
If you own a kayak, look for boat launches near you. You can even plan day trips in the summer around your kayaking adventures.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a watercraft. There are always opportunities to rent a kayak, take a class, or enjoy a kayak tour. Check out kayaking rental services at state and local parks and set up a time to get out on the water this summer.
Spring and summertime are perfect for bike rides. Biking lets you work out your legs without the pounding and stress on your joints that comes with running. It also improves balance and coordination.
Not only that, but biking is also a lot of fun. You can bike with family and friends, go mountain biking on local trails, or ride solo for thirty minutes to an hour to clear your mind and get a good cardio workout.
Yoga helps with balance, flexibility, and strength. And while the weather’s nice, you can do this activity outdoors without having to plan ahead or sign up for a class.
Set up your yoga mat and blocks in your backyard or on your back patio and breathe in the fresh air while doing your poses. Better yet, wake up early and practice yoga outside while the sun rises.
You can also do yoga at the park or near the water to bask in nature while exercising. Depending on where you live, you might also be able to find a local group that practices yoga outdoors or other similar mind-body activities like tai-chi and qigong. All these activities are perfect for staying fit while enjoying the beautiful weather.
What Are The Best Spring and Summer Sports for Fitness?
While outdoor activities can help you stay fit and healthy, sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated, even when the weather’s nice. If you know you might struggle to get outside to exercise regularly, consider joining a local athletic league.
Here are some of the best recreational sports to play in the spring and summer:
- Flag football
- Ultimate frisbee
When you join a local team or adult league, you’re penciling in physical fitness on your calendar. You also have the opportunity to meet new people and socialize while exercising. But the best part is that you can get fit while having a blast. You’re in for good times, fresh air, and serious exercise. All these athletic activities will help you burn calories, tone muscles, and strengthen your lungs.
Check out your local YMCA or community center to learn about recreational sports leagues you could join. There are recreational and club sports in most cities and towns across the country, so a simple Google search for adult leagues in your area should point you in the right direction too.
You might also see postings for recreational teams at the local library, or you can try online resources, such as Yelp, Meetup, the United States Tennis Association, USA Ultimate, and USA Pickleball.
What Are Some Safety Tips for Spring and Summer Athletics?
A lot of people start exercising when the seasons change. Others ramp up their fitness routine once they can spend more time outdoors in the spring. Either way, it’s important to take good care of your body so you can exercise without increasing your risk of injury or fatigue.
Here are some of our tips for staying active in the spring and summer and staying healthy:
If you were inactive over the winter, give your body at least two weeks to ease into movement before pushing yourself. Start with simple, short workouts, such as 10 or 15 minutes of walking or a short yoga session.
Avoid the Hottest Parts of the Day
If possible, fit in your outdoor activities in the morning or late afternoon and early evening. That way, you’ll avoid the extreme heat and sun on those hot summer days. In general, avoid working out between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When you’re exercising, you need to drink more fluids. But when it’s also warm outside, you sweat more, so you need to replenish the electrolytes your body loses. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you know you’re going to be outside sweating, consider bringing a sports drink with electrolytes. You can also drink coconut water, which is a natural source of electrolytes.
Listen to Your Body
If you start noticing signs that you’re overworking your body, such as lingering soreness, pulled muscles, or pain in your back, knees, neck, or any joints, reduce your activity level. A little rest, ice, and stretching can be enough to get you back out there. The expert team of physical therapists at JAG PT is also always on hand to help.
Stay Fit and Healthy This Spring and Summer with Help from JAG PT
JAG PT leads the way in compassionate, specialized physical therapy throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Whether you’re looking for professional advice on your fitness routine, want to return to play after an injury, or are seeking athletic training, our skilled PT staff is here for you. Contact us to find out more about how JAG PT helps local athletes, or schedule an appointment today.