At the risk of sounding altogether cheesy, I want to offer up some entertaining Summer workout ideas. My goal is get your creative juices flowing so you can escape the traditional concepts of workout. It’s all about perspective right?! I have outlined some family friendly FITastic ideas to keep you and those you love challenged and active. Please note that the MAJORITY of these ideas cost ZERO out of pocket dollars! This is FREE ninety nine advice and low cost economical FITness frenzied good time. Contrary to popular belief, FITness isn’t expensive!
1) Sports FANS
Play ball….any kind of ball. Have a ball playing ball. This is my kind of activity because it’s a team sport. I really like group games/ gatherings. Beware…it is my personal experience that all too often a family friendly game tends to turn ugly. Games like basketball, tennis, baseball, softball, dodge ball, football, volleyball can turn freakishly competitive in a quick hot minute. Maybe it’s the heat or maybe someone doesn’t know how to play nice?!? Either way, try to evenly mix up teams so prevent a dominate drive and injury to players. My Mr. Chicken Fry is such a blast to play games with. Expert Ernie, aka Chicken Fry knows just how to handle himself in these silly, all for nothing, playful situations. He never raises his voice to scream or yell at his very own team mates. It’s not in his DNA to talk smack to the opposing…
friends or family players. He’s so cool and collected and barley even keeps score. YAWN!
A little pool party is oh so gentle on the joints! Early in the morning, mid afternoon or in the evening the pool is a refreshing tranquil place to find some FITness. Slather on some sunscreen, turn up the tunes and do your thang! I can smell the chlorine and Coppertone as we speak. I pump it up the party now in the pool y’all. I usually start by running in place or doing some old-fashioned jumping jacks. Sure it feels unnatural but it’s not like anyone is watching! After I get bored with that I move to the deeper end and tread water in 3 to 5 minute increments. I go for major up tempo music so I can do my best
water dancing, treading to a rhythmic beat. If you have room, get after it and swim laps. Do your best Michael Phelps impersonation. I also like to end my private pool session leaning on the steps doing fast scissors kicks. I also use my diving board for chin ups, pull ups and ab tucks not to mention my perfect 10 cannon ball! I have been perfecting my jump and tuck for decades! I would say a good 30 minutes to an hour is a solid pool workout. It’s certainly a cool way to crush some cardio. Water resistance training is like none other.
3) They paved paradise and put up a parking lot!
Make your way to a middle school, high school or elementary school parking lot. Truthfully, any abandoned parking lot will do. If you decide to really go for the gusto, workout gloves will be a great investment for this activity. The parking lot workout is not for the weary. More like the NFL Combines! I’m talking old school drills for a heart pounding sweat session. Run lines and side shuffle between lines. Run forward and backward (Did you know that anytime you do lateral movement your heart rate goes sky highly?). It’s true. Lateral movements cause the body to work harder. Work out a high skip drill going side ways. Knock out some lunges, frog hops, duck walks, and forward bear crawls. Lastly…don’t forget the dreaded but lovable crab walk! Make sure to bring a water, towel and tunes!
If you want to distract the kids, take some side-walk chalk to keep them busy. Ask them to draw you a large life scale ladder. You can do some Ali shuffles, hops, zig zag, fast feet drills. Make up your own and pound the pavement pretty girl.
4) Play Ground
I don’t want to grow up, I’m a monkey bar maniac! The monkey bars are not just for kids. I’m already anticipating that you might have some pre-playground nerves. Shake off any insecurity or embarrassment you might be feeling. If you were in New York’s Central Park or any beach on the California coast, no one would even bat an eye! Get out of the insecurity box and step out of your comfort zone and step on to the play ground and get after it. Take on some suspended hanging tucks from a monkey bar. Find a step, take turns doing elevated squats. Use this stair for some up and down runners. Get in some jump ups, pull ups/chin ups, and tricep dips while you’re at it. Push ups and from the parallel bars…do some abs or back extension. Get creative and figure it out…! Linger around the playground and look for other fellow park workout warriors. I bet if you look close you will realize you are not alone!
5) Take a hike
Really, take a nature hike. The other day I made a switch and went off the path and my whole experience was awesome. By just changing my surroundings, I was open to new scenery. Before I even knew it…the time had passed. I was so busy taking in the new surroundings that I was totally unaware of the time. The rugged terrain was a welcomed break from the usually cement sidewalk. I saw new creepy crawlers, avoided a stump, double timed up some rock like formation and loved every second of it. God created nature and being out in the fresh air in a natural setting was invigorating. The grass was green, the trees provided shade, the birds made noise.
Seems like we can’t escape the laundry list of monontenous errands. Here’s an idea…slow your roll and do your local errands differently. Pretend you live in another state or that you are a tourist. Hop on your bike and pedal to the pharmacy. Walk to your nearest grocery store and only buy what you can carry home. Take a more scenic route through a neighborhood you don’t frequently travel. This alone will change everything. Tell the kids you are going on a walk and buy them flavored waters at the store while they cool off. I live in Texas and almost no one walks to the store, aka the market. Summer is hot and humid and during the day there is barley any foot street traffic. I’m not scared. I throw on a base ball hat and pedal to the nearest nutrition center for a smoothie or a box of protein bars.
7) Tramp Stamp
Like Van Halen says….”go ahead and JUMP”! I’m such a super tramp! Trampoline time is my jam! One of my all time life long goals is to always be able to do a back handspring and back flip on the trampoline. I was a master trampoline artist growing up. So even if you can’t do amazing Olympic style tricks, the jumping will surly send your heart rate sky-high. Set a time and alarm and crank on the tunes. Jump and jump on it! Mini tramps work too! There are now indoor trampoline parks all over the country. This is a cardiovascular killer workout.
8 ) Theme Park
This idea is not cheap but it’s a on your feet all day kind of fun. I’m a theme park kind of girl. I like water parks and theme parks. I grew up with a Six Flags season pass for most of my adolecent years. Listen up ladies, get our your most worn and faded swimsuit and get to the water park. You can burn up some serious calories walking around, fightin the wave pool, swimming and climbing the stairs to get to the top of the water slides. Why should the kids have all the fun. Soak up the sun and slip slide your way FIT! In this scenario it is crucial to stay hydrated. Most water parks allow you to bring in a cooler. PAck healthy snacks such as fruit, veggies, nuts and pretzels. Make PB&J sandwhichs and or turkey sandwhiches. Don’t buy in to the $10 slice of pizza or dipping dots!
Theme parks like Six Flags and Disney can also be a blast. If you do it right, your feet will be begging for mercy. Cute is out the door here. Comfort is key. A good old worn in pair of tennis shoes is perfect. You don’t want to worry about stepping into grease, mud puddles, etc while your trapesing around a theme park. Do NOT wear your new cute adorable sandals or new tennis shoes. The last place on earth you want to have a ablister is a day with Mickey Mouse! There is no crying at a theme park! While you are walking and blowing up your FIT BIT with step after step don’t blow it all on crap fried processed foods. In these typs of parks try to find a turkey leg or turkey burger. Water is best so pass on the sugary drinks.
9) Welcome Water
Remember back in the day when pedal boating was the big RAGE! As a kid you couldn’t wait to get into a two or four passenger paddle boat! It looked like boat loads of FUN to paddlle around a pond or lake. That was until you actually did it! Oh wow! What soon everyone discovered was paddle boating was actual exercise! That crap was hard as heck. If water or weather conditions were less than perfect, paddle boating was a hot miserable mess. Thankfully, the tides have turned and now there is paddle BOARDING. Talk about core exercise. Boarding is all about the balance baby! Paddle boarding is refreshing, cool and a FITastic workout. Don’t be fooled, it’s no walk in the park picnic. Arms, legs and core stand at attention the whole time. You can create as much cardio as you please. I love the sound of the board slapping the water.
Check out this Hobi pedal board. It combines the pedal boating and paddle boarding into one. It’s a challenge. Below the handle bars in the water is a rutter. The rutter is activated by the brake handles on the steering wheel. Once you get this baby gliding across a pond, lake or ocean, you must maintain balance or else you will throw yourself right off into the water. I highly recomment this exercise water toy. I kept my knees slightly bent to activate my quads which is also great advice for paddle boarding. Hinging the knees in a slight bend allows for suspension and absorbison if you should encounter waves.
10) YIPPIEE KY-ACK!
Another interesting workout water sport is a one person or two person kyack. The key to kayaking is to have a strong partner! Most resorts or marina’s rent paddle boards and kyacks by the hour. Prepare for work…upper body strength is tested and fully engaged. If you intend on renting or exploring on a kyack adventure, don’t do arms or chest before. Save your muscle strength for the paddles. If you have the slightest bit of wind or strong current you could get into some real trouble. I would advice anyone to carry a cell phone in a plastic container harnassed to a life vest in case you need to call for help. What might start as friendly glass bottom kyack ocean exploration could turn into a 4 mile drift from your vantage point. Not to mention a marriage hinging on both parties needing to paddle!
What’s your creative FITness outlet this Summer?
Love, play and slay the day!