Finding the Right Summer Workout | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Finding the Right Summer Workout

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Jul 7, 2022

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  • If it has been a while since your last checkup, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor first before embarking on a new workout routine or exercise program.
  • Another place for a great summer workout is the mountains. Whether you are mountain biking, hiking or walking, the mountains offer lots of opportunities to be active.
  • If you prefer a more traditional form of summer workout, you can try weight training.

As summer approaches, your mind might start wandering toward fitting into that great bikini that you saw at the store or showing off at the beach. For many people, the winter months mean packing on at least a few extra pounds and spring is the time to start gearing up for the perfect summer workout and the perfect summer body.

You may decide that you want to exercise with a combination of activities, from outdoor hikes to joining a gym class to doing yoga at home.

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Talk to Your Doctor

If it has been a while since your last checkup, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor first before embarking on a new workout routine or exercise program. Even if you see your doctor fairly regularly, if you do not have a current exercise routine, you should have a complete physical to rule out any potential problems or issues that could influence what kind of workout program you choose.

Your doctor also may recommend talking to a nutritionist or fitness coach for the best benefit to a summer workout program. Hopefully, your summer workout routine will translate into changes in lifestyle, like healthy eating and behaviors that will last a lifetime.

Water Activities

Swimming is a great overall form of exercise. It has tremendous cardiovascular benefits and works out almost every muscle in your body. For people who have mobility issues or are overweight, swimming can be a much easier form of exercise than other activities, such as jogging or bicycling.

If your gym has a heated pool, you might enjoy joining an aquatics exercise class. Water exercise can be a terrific way to build up your muscle strength while building up stamina at the same time.

If you have problems with joint pain or mobility issues, water exercise in a heated pool can provide you with pain relief and added flexibility.

Swimming does not need to be something you have to go to the pool every day to do. For example, if you love going out on the water on your boat in the summer, go out and drop anchor and jump in the water.

Even treading water for 10 minutes or longer can be a great exercise. Throughout the day, if you are active, you can accumulate some terrific exercise benefits.

Another water activity is canoeing. During the summer, if you live close to the water, going out for a canoe on a regular basis can be a great way to workout. The activity of rowing works your upper body muscles, including your arms, back, and abdominal muscles.

Canoeing can also be a wonderful way of spending time with other family members or friends. Many lakeside or riverside locations have recreational facilities that have rental canoes available.

Go to the Mountains

Another place for a great summer workout is the mountains. Whether you are mountain biking, hiking or walking, the mountains offer lots of opportunities to be active.

Pole hiking is a form of exercise that many people enjoy when they go to the mountains. Before you start, you should invest a bit of money in getting quality equipment to make your hiking experience more enjoyable and safe. Three products worth investing in are:

  • Poles – Rubber-tipped aluminum poles help you maintain your balance and also provide momentum for your arms as you hike. You can find them at most large sporting goods stores or online.
  • Hiking Shoes – If you are going to do some serious hiking, then you should invest in a good pair of hiking shoes. Hiking shoes will provide your feet with needed support and protection from rocks and rough terrain.
  • Backpack – Measuring your torso length is the key to finding the right size backpack for you. Backpacks should not exceed 20% of your body weight if you are doing a long hike. If you’re going on a day hike, your backpack should not exceed 10% of your body weight.

Many beginners enjoy pole walking because it is easier on knees and allows you to distribute your weight across your body more easily. Pole walking is a full-body exercise in which you take small steps while pumping your arms at the same time. It is similar to race walking.

If pole hiking is not your style, a good hike through the woods might suit you better. Often, people enjoy hiking in the dappled sunlight of the woods because it offers a respite from the summer heat.

Choose a place to enjoy a summer picnic and after lunch, look for a trail with a steep incline. On the upward incline, walk fast and challenge yourself. On the walk back down, walk more slowly and use it as a cool-down period.

Moderate mountain biking can also be an excellent form of summer exercise that does not even feel like you are working out. Mountain trails that have lots of hills and turns can provide you with a full-body workout in even a short period of time.

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Weight Training

If you prefer a more traditional form of summer workout, you can try weight training. Before beginning to work out with weights, meet with a personal trainer to find out what kinds of weight training will meet your goals.

For example, you may want to use weight training to lengthen and tone muscles rather than build muscle bulk. Also, if you have not worked with weights in the past, you should get specific training on the correct way to lift weights to avoid injury.

Beginners most often start with free weights. Free weights come in a wide range of sizes and it is best to start with a weight that you can comfortably lift without overly straining yourself. Gradually increase the amount of weight you are lifting over time.

Exercise Classes

Often, people enjoy exercising with others in a group class. Yoga and pilates are classes you can take at your local gym or community center. There are several different kinds of yoga, so you may want to try a few before settling on a specific class to attend regularly.

Yoga is a practice of stretching muscles in poses to gain flexibility and muscle strength. Pilates is a variation on yoga. It involves stretching and muscle strengthening exercises through floor movements and with the use of equipment.

There are many different kinds of aerobic classes you can take at your local gym or community center. Common classes at the gym include spin classes, step classes, and Zumba classes. These classes usually meet several times a week and most gyms allow you to simply join any class that is scheduled.

The goal of cardiovascular classes is to improve your heart and lung capacity. Most cardio classes are at least an hour long and involve a period of warmup, intense exercise and a cool-down period.

Mix It Up

Even if you decide you want to become a gym rat and forego outdoor physical activities, combining several kinds of activities will prevent you from becoming bored and abandoning your physical activities.

Try taking a spin class for the summer or trying pilates or yoga for the first time. You may be surprised to discover something new you enjoy that is a contrast to your usual workouts on the weight machines or on the jogging track.

Remember that if you are physically active with other people, it will be more enjoyable and fun. You can put together a summer routine that will fit your schedule by combining working out at the gym, taking classes, and doing fun summer activities with your family.

Even in the waning months of summer, you can find activities to do throughout the year that will keep you physically active and prevent you from packing on those few winter pounds. No matter what you decide you want to do, remember to have fun and keep moving!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best exercise to do for weight loss?

There are many exercises that are great for weight loss. The best exercise is the one that you can stick with over a long period of time.

Is swimming a better workout than running?

Overall, swimming is a better workout than running as it takes more effort to swim one mile than it does to run one mile. It is also easier on the joints.

Are bodyweight exercises good for weight loss?

Yes. Bodyweight exercises are great for weight loss.

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