As a twenty-something year old weight-watcher, I look at summer with both excitement and a pit of dread just because lets be real… While the weather is gorg and usually lends itself to spending the day lazing on a beach somewhere or playing in a park, it also encourages massive binge-drinking during Sunday brunch as well as eating a ton of food that might not always be the best for you (hello, who can resist Jersey boardwalk french fries or Kohrs custard?). Last summer I ate and drank myself silly with my lovely boyfriend and my waistline paid for it…big time. This summer we’ve made a pact to sweat as much as we can, and not just by laying out on a beach either!
We kicked off our summer for real yesterday by renting a couple of bikes in NYC and hitting Central Park. Let me tell you, you have not lived if you’ve never spent a day exploring Central Park. For those of you who aren’t in close proximity to the best city on Earth, the Park is home to the most fun you’ve ever had outside ever including biking, paddle boating, volleyball and more.
Inspired by my awesome day yesterday in 85 degree weather, I’ve put together a list of great summer activities that will get you to put down the Netflix (I know, I know, Orange is the New Black came out or whatever but once you’re done binge-watching you can give these activities a shot) and get moving doing fun stuff outside for super cheap. Working out inside during the summer is a total drag, trust me on that, so skip the regular gym routine a few times a week and throw in some of these strengthening ideas to switch up your schedule and get the most out of the beautiful weather.
Like I said before, biking outside is my jam. During the Winter I’m a huge spin class freak, I tend to go once or twice a week depending on my schedule. Come summertime, I break out the bike and hit the pavement with friends for a workout that can burn up to 445 calories an hour! Check out this super cool calculator that can tell you exactly how much you burn during your ride if you don’t have your own heart rate monitor. Oh, and for you New Yorkers out there who don’t want to keep and maintain your own bike? Rent one for cheap from one of the vendors on the street, just don’t pay more then ten bucks an hour because that’s totally robbery as it is.
Rock climbing is an awesome strength workout that’ll have your muscles shaking in no time. I’ve been belay certified for about a year (and am renewing my cert this coming weekend!), rock climbing is a great activity to get a bunch of your friends involved in. Not only is renting gear super cheap, figure about five bucks for shoes and eight bucks for a harness, but it can be done inside or out depending on where you live. Chelsea Piers in NYC offer rock climbing for both those certified and those who would rather hire an instructor for around twenty bucks for an afternoon of sweaty fun.
While I wouldn’t consider myself a seasoned Yogi by far, I’ve recently gotten super into Yoga simply because I finally (finally!) found the right studio and instructors for my personality. Great for stretching and lengthening lean muscle, Yoga is a low impact activity that is great for people of all ages. If you’ve tried Yoga before and didn’t like it, give it another shot this summer with a different instructor or at a different location…you’d be surprised how much your practice is influenced by your instructor! NYC offers multiple outdoor Yoga gatherings during the summer at random (keep an eye on your Twitter, that’s how I’ve learned about some of them) or check out sites like Groupon.com for deals on local studios near you. Located in Jersey? Check out Yoga Montclair and take a class or two with me!
I might be a little biased here considering I’ve played volleyball for what feels like my whole life, but nothing quite says summer like a good game of volleyball at the beach or on the grass. Whether you’re just bumping around with friends or join a league, volleyball is a great way to stay active while having fun in the sun. Pick up games happen every single weekend in Central Park in NYC or if you crave a little more stability in your schedule, join a league like Spike League NJ or GAV down at the Jersey shore.
I recently discovered my love for water sports while on vacation in Cabo, and kayaking quickly shot to the top of the list. A great workout for whittling a slim middle, the paddling and twisting motions are perfect for creating a killer summer bod. If you live near any body of water, definitely check the Google machine for opportunities to rent Kayaks with your friends for a couple of hours of fun. NYC-ers can head down to Pier 40 and rent kayaks for FREE through The Downtown Boathouse.
How do you stay active during the summer?
NYC-ers…did I miss anything?