May 25, 2024

Summer Exercise by Sarah Johnson

As it seems we may have finally made the transition (albeit abrupt!) to summer weather, it’s now time to get outside and enjoy all of the activities we haven’t been able to all winter!

Living so close to Lake Michigan, I’m fortunate to have so many water friendly activities in which to participate. As always, you need to be a good swimmer and comfortable in the water before trying any of these out. And be sure to let someone know where you’re going! Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Here are a few of my summer exercise favorites by the water:

Stand Up Paddleboarding: This very popular water sport uses a paddle board (think long, flat surf board) and one single-sided paddle. While standing, or kneeling if you’re just starting out, you need to balance as you move through the water’s waves and ripples. Flat water is best for this sport, although with a little practice and Core strength, you’ll be skimming the surface in no time!

Kayaking: This is a terrific upper body workout. Sitting inside the kayak and using a double-sided paddle, you’ll propel yourself forward with long strokes. Your arms, shoulders and upper back muscles all need to work together in order to move forward. This is also a great buddy activity, if you can rent a kayak built for 2!

Sand Running: The effort that running in the sand requires is much greater than on a dry, hard surface. This is a great way to mix up your training. Choose a shorter distance, and break it up into short and longer sprints on the beach. Walk in-between the sprints so you have time to recover (if you’ve never run on sand before, you may find that it’s harder than you think!) And pack a Frisbee or small ball to reward yourself with a game of catch after the hard part is over!

Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJChicago