There’s no better time to be outside than in the summer. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and green spaces are calling your name. During the summer months, there are considerably more options for being active than in the colder winter months. Take advantage of all that summer has to offer with these three ideas for summer cardio fun.

1. Hit the Pavement

You may have noticed that the sidewalks and pathways in your neighborhood have become busy with the arrival of summer. Running and walking is a popular warm-weather activity that doesn’t require any special equipment or training to get started. All you need is a comfortable pair of sneakers!

If you are new to running, start with an easy training program like Couch to 5k, which provides a training schedule for beginners to build up to 3.1 mile runs in nine weeks. You can use the same training mentality without an app by incorporating short bursts of running into your walks and building up your cardio endurance in every workout. Before you know it, you’ll be keeping pace with the runners in your neighborhood.

2. Take to the Water

An easy way to stay cool in the summer heat is on the water! Swimming is an obvious cardio workout that builds full-body strength and endurance (along with an impressive lung capacity). Kayaking or paddle boarding can also be a fun way to workout and provides cardio exercise while building up shoulder strength.

3. Try Out Circuit Training

Circuit training has been used as a popular form of working out for years. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up and build full-body strength. Circuit training is a workout where you have a number of different stations or exercises that you cycle through multiple times (around 5–10 times). Each station or exercise lasts a minute and you’ll want to create five or six different stations. Stations are a mix of different exercises — start off with an upper-body challenge like pushups, include a lower-body exercise like squats or lunges, add a full-body strength-builder like mountain climbers or burpees, and finish off with a cardio-intensive station like jumping rope or running in place. Include a minute of rest between each circuit.

While many gyms and recreation centers are still closed or limiting entry, you can create your own gym in a driveway, local park, or backyard. You need enough space to set up a few different stations but with a little creativity, you won’t need many props or weights. 

Stay Safe in the Heat

Exercising in the summer is a challenge when the sun is high and hot in the sky. If you’re out exercising during the hottest parts of the day (usually noon to 4pm) your body will be working hard to deal with the heat and make it much harder for you to get your workout done. Summer is an ideal time to integrate morning workouts into your routine or head out in the evening when the sun is less intense.

No matter what time of day you’re working out, remember to drink lots of water and protect your skin. It’s easy in the summer heat to get dehydrated or sunburned, which can both become dangerous for your health if too severe.

For more tips and tricks on building a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable fitness routine, join our Facebook Live Virtual Classes, follow us on Instagram, or get in touch! Stay safe, have fun, and I’ll see you out on a run!