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Summer is for going to the beach, enjoying the sunshine, reading a good book, and taking a break, right? It can be, and there should be time for relaxing, but there is also plenty of time for even more fitness.
Summer activities for fitness, like swimming, hiking, or running in a local race, can help you or your clients shake up the routine and get closer to your goals. Now is the time to enjoy being outdoors, while also getting some exercise.
Encourage your clients to get outside, but also be there to guide their activity choices so that they keep improving throughout the season.
You could stay in the gym all summer. After all, it's what you know and it works. But fitness shouldn't always be a strict routine. It should also be fun. Shaking up your or your client's exercise routine for the summer can be enjoyable but also actually improve your fitness.
Just because you're doing something a little less structured and a little more fun doesn't mean you aren't getting a benefit. You can support your fitness and athletic goals by engaging in more outdoor activities that give you a cardio workout, for instance. You can also choose sports that will improve agility, speed, strength, balance, and flexibility.
With warm weather and the sun shining, your clients may be inclined to play hooky from their workouts. Harness that drive to get outside and enjoy the sun and warm weather and use it to your advantage as a trainer. Keep your clients motivated to stay fit by letting them skip the gym to do something active and fun outdoors.
Of course, outdoor activities can also just be fun. Maybe that pickup game of soccer won't help your client hit their goal of bench pressing 220 pounds, but so what? It still supports fitness overall. Let your clients enjoy the season and get out there for a little fun once in a while.
Not only should you ease up on your clients and let them enjoy more summer activities, but you can encourage them to do so. Whether that means in addition to your scheduled workouts or as part of the training program, there are several summer activities that you and your clients can do to maintain overall fitness, to get even fitter, and to support individual goals:
Run a 5k. Setting a goal for a summer activity is a great way to boost fitness and support long-term goals. Choose a local 5k, or a longer race for your more avid runners, to train for and to improve cardio fitness.
Go to the beach. A day at the beach can be quiet and relaxing, but there is also so much potential for fitness. A run in the sand works muscles you didn't know you had; swimming is great for cardio fitness and building strength; and try doing burpees or squat jumps in the sand—it isn't easy.
Take a hike. There are few better ways to enjoy the outdoors and nature than to go for a hike. Get out of the city or suburbs and hit some nearby trails. Hiking is a great overall workout, building cardiovascular fitness and improving endurance especially.
Play your favorite sport. Team sports that you can play outside in the summer can help you work on endurance, cardio fitness, agility, power and speed, and coordination. Try basketball, soccer, or beach volleyball.
Go for a paddle. To support upper body strength, try a paddling water sport like kayaking or canoeing. Both can be done in a lazy fashion, but you can also challenge yourself by crossing open water or going upstream. A stand-up paddleboard is also great for balance and core strength. If you're feeling especially stable, try paddleboard yoga. Or, if you've been using a rowing machine in the gym, consider trying out the real thing out on the water.
Ride a bike. Cycling is an excellent sport for cardio, conditioning, and endurance. And it's also fun. The only downside is that if you don't have a bike it is a significant investment. Try renting one first to see if cycling is your summer activity.
Climb a rock. There are few outdoor activities you can do in the summer that are as challenging and as beneficial for upper body strength as rock climbing. Start in a climbing gym and work your way up to outdoor climbing to enjoy an excellent workout and summer weather.
Of course, it's important to keep in mind safety when encouraging your clients to get active outside the gym. Exercising outdoors in the summer can be risky because of temperatures and the risks of dehydration and heat stroke.
Make sure your clients know that they can and should step it down a little when the sun is blazing and humidity is oppressive. For a run, for instance, they should expect to go slower than usual. Make sure they have water on hand, wear breathable clothing, and use sunscreen.
Summer activities for fitness have to be safe or they won't be much fun. With the right planning these activities can be both enjoyable and effective for fitness. Get out there with your clients and enjoy the nice weather while we have it.
Check out the ISSA's Specialist in Group Fitness certification to learn how to train fun groups of people in or out of the gym.