When we think of summer, we imagine hot, sunny days spent outdoors, maybe in the pool or with friends around the braai. Why should you subject yourself to the confines of a gym to get your fitness going? Here are ten ways that you can get your fitness fix while enjoying the sunshine.

1. Hiking

Hiking in the great outdoors is fantastic when you have trails and routes around you that are teeming with wildlife. Not only are they great for getting your fitness up but they allow you to explore places. How intense you want your outdoor hike is up to you but for the most part, it is a low impact activity. It is also a great lower body builder and will get those legs burning.

2. Trail running

Higher impact than hiking and a great way to get outdoors, trail running will challenge your legs more than a treadmill due to the uneven ground. The best part about trail running is that you won’t be bored by staring at other people on treadmills or counting how many laps other people are swimming because there will be a variety of natural nice-ness to take in. Just make sure to have a solid pair of outdoor running shoes.

3. Beach volleyball

This may not be available for most of us but if you are fortunate to live near the seaside, then why not head out the nearest outdoors volleyball spot? Volleyball on the beach will be quite demanding on the body as the sand makes for tricky terrain to manoeuvre but with the sun and the sea, how could you not have fun?

4. Golf

Many have laughed golf off as a good way to keep fit but just remember how much walking you are doing on a course, not to mention the explosive action when hitting the ball. True, golf is not high intensity on the body, but you can still burn a considerable number of calories walking 18 holes. In fact, walking a solid 18-hole outdoors golf course can burn up to 2,000 calories!

5. Recreational soccer

Playing outdoors sports is one of the greatest ways to keep fit (obviously), but you don’t want to join a club? No problem, look at using public facilities with your friends, or maybe give that club a shot. There are also Action Sports to look at, which is similar to traditional sports but usually consist of much smaller teams and areas to play.

6. Touch rugby

If you feel like dusting off the old rugga boots but aren’t keen to be tackling and getting tackled, then outdoors touch rugby is excellent for keeping your fitness up and still getting that rugby feel. Get a bunch of friends together, and use a small field or even the back garden if it’s big enough. If you really feel the rugby itch, then why not join a league?

7. Boot camps

No, no, we aren’t saying you should join the military. We are, however, talking outdoors boot camp classes, which are one of the most popular fitness classes at the moment. Boot camp classes incorporate calisthenics, cardio, and resistance training to enhance cardiovascular conditioning.

8. Swimming

For those scorcher summer days, outdoors swimming is one of the tried and tested methods of working on your fitness. Swimming is a whole-body movement; upper body for the arm movements, core for stability, and lower body to kick through – as well as the lungs. Swimming is also a great social activity and will keep you cool on those hot, summer days.

9. Kayaking

This may not be a staple in your fitness regimen, but it is a fantastic way to experience something new and take your fitness outside. Predominantly an upper body workout, kayaking also incorporates your core to stay upright in the kayak. Plus, it is loads of fun.

10. Gardening

Gardening is an excellent way of getting that much-needed break of intense working out but still getting outside and keeping active. It may seem like a simple house chore, but think how many calories you burn by turning the soil, digging holes, mowing the lawn, and pulling weeds out. In the end, it adds up, and you will be enjoying sunlight, and relieving some stress.

These are just some ways to get outdoors during the summer and keep your fitness up. Sunshine can work wonders on our bodies but how will we get it if we are crammed inside a gym? We spend enough time cooped up during winter so when the sun comes out, take advantage, and enjoy the sun and the warmth while getting fit at the same time.

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