Thumbnail image from Pixabay
By Rebecca Fending
Summer is one of the most difficult seasons to keep cool while active. Although the warm weather coaxes people outside, the Florida sun also tends to be overbearing, forcing folks back inside by midafternoon. If you’re looking to remain active or get moving more this summer, there are a few exercises and activities to help you do so while staying safe in the heat. Just remember to slather on some SPF, wear a hat and stay hydrated!
Talked about before but worth covering again, swimming is a fabulous form of exercise, especially during the warmer months. Because your body is supported and suspended in water, going for a swim is a great means of low-impact exercise, which is perfect for seniors or anyone suffering from joint issues. Even just treading water in place for a few minutes helps elevate your heart rate and strengthen your muscles. Although any exercise is great, swimming is perhaps the best way to get moving and stay cool during stretches of elevated temperatures.
Bicycles have increased in popularity over the past year as more people are looking for alternative forms of exercise at home. Biking is a great way means of staying active for seniors due to the low amount of joint stress and focus on muscle strengthening.
Biking is also an activity that keeps you relatively cool while still getting a solid workout in. The light breeze can help keep you cool, but still be on the lookout for muscle fatigue and dehydration. The best times to go for a bike ride are early morning before the sun wreaks havoc, or in the evening as the sun is setting. However, if you’re looking to bike to a picnic spot at midday, just be sure to dress light and bring plenty of sunblock and water with you.
Although thought of as a leisurely past-time, golfing is a tremendous way to stay active by improving your muscle strength and overall flexibility. Carrying your golf bag, swinging the club and bending to place the ball on the tee are all great ways to keep your body moving without even thinking about it. Golfing also helps keep your brain active by integrating necessary hand-eye coordination tactics. Really, this sport is a win-win in more ways than one.
Although a great exercise for seniors, golfing tends to mean extended periods of time in the sun, so be sure to exercise caution in terms of hydration and sun cover.
For those with a green thumb, you probably get a mild daily workout just from tending to your garden. Gardening chores such as lifting pots, dirt or even your watering can is a great way to keep your muscles in use and raise your heart rate. According to several research studies, gardening can burn 300 to 500 calories an hour!
This activity also helps improve your mood and state of mind. Gardening can be extremely rewarding as you are able to see and enjoy the fruits of your labor, either through colorful blossoms or deliciously ripe fruits and vegetables.
However, be extra careful while gardening in the direct sunlight, extreme humidity or even just Florida’s typical summer temps. If you notice yourself profusely sweating or that your body is getting tired, take a break in the shade with a glass of water.
Although it may not seem like it, fishing can be great exercise. Standing seems so passive, but it can be an easy exercise in stability and balance, especially when fishing. Plus, if you do get a bite, fighting against the fish as you reel in is a great effort for muscle strength.
Depending on whether you’re rowing yourself out on to the water, or even just casting a line off the bank, fishing combines the two best elements of any summer activity: relaxation and mild muscular exercise.