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But It’s Hot Outside: 10 Ways to Stay Physically Active During the Summer

By: Maryn Hayward, Alamance County Lifestyle Coach


If you live in North Carolina, you’ve probably been experiencing this sudden sticky heat wave of 90+ degrees and like me, you might be dreading the rest of the summer heat (since it’s not even June yet). This heat makes us tired, lethargic, thirsty, and uninterested in venturing outside for too long unless it’s by the water. The idea of going on a walk, jog, or bike ride is the last thing we want to do! So how do we stay active when we can’t do our normal activities? Here are 10 ways you can keep up with your weight loss goals and continue to get 150 minutes of weekly physical activity without risking heat stroke. Remember, you should always consult with your healthcare provider before beginning a new exercise and drink plenty of water before, during, and after any activity.

  1. Exercise for free from the coolness of your home!
    You can look up videos on YouTube (try searches such as “Zumba”, “Walking”, or “Yoga”), dance around the kitchen, march in place while watching TV, or do chores at a brisk pace.
  2. Join a fitness center.
    Centers vary in price and can be out of the budget but ask your local gyms about specials and need-based fees.
  3. Walk in the mall.
    This is a great, free place to get your steps in…as long as you don’t start shopping on your walk :). Or you can get your errands done at the same time!
  4. Look for free fitness classes at your local community center.
    Many cities and counties offer free or affordable classes at their community or recreation centers and even at public libraries!
  5. Get outside in the morning before the temperature heats up or around dusk to enjoy your walk, run, or other outdoor activities.
    When walking in the dark, use safety precautions such as a flashlight, headlamp, or reflective gear to be visible to cars.
  6. Swim!
    Swimming has many benefits for your body besides a great full-body workout. Instead of watching the kids swim, get in there with them to cool down and get your heart pumping. If your local recreation or fitness center has a pool, they probably offer swim lessons for all ages and water aerobic classes.
  7. Take the stairs wherever you go.
    Physical activity is when you’re moving and getting your heart rate up, no matter for how long. So, walking the stairs on a work break, at the mall, or in your home is a beneficial way to fit in a few extra minutes.
  8. Get on the water!
    Maybe swimming isn’t for you but you enjoy being by the water and there are plenty of activities you can do while staying “mostly” dry. Try kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding at your local river or lake!
  9. Play ball indoors, such as basketball, soccer, or kickball.
    Your local recreation center likely has a gym you can use for free or at an affordable price and they might have intramural adult teams you can join!
  10. Go on a hike or trail walk.
    Many trails provide ample shade and some have access to a river or stream for quick cool down. Be sure to plan ahead so you aren’t hiking during the heat of day and bring plenty of water and snacks.

 What do you like to do to stay active during the summer?