Bigger Than Biceps: How summer sports can keep you fit
Tailgating with a beer in your hand before a concert or on the boat in the summer is a visual seen on all social media platforms, now that the solstice is upon us. These are fun social activities that generally only occur in the northeast during the warm months, but how does it benefit your health? These occasions are also more appealing than coming home from work and hitting the gym. Luckily the summer holds many workout opportunities, and they're fun, and you could probably still have a beer while doing them, (or just water).
Two popular activities I've witnessed at music festivals over time is slacklining and hooping. These aren't weather specific. Slacklining is the act of walking across the suspended length of a flat, webbed tightroped that is ratcheted around two trees and low to the ground. It originated in the climbing world but transformed into a crosstraining, backyard sport, according to Slackline Industries. It aims to strengthen the core and improve balance for climbing. I've tried it once and found that my patience was limited after continuously falling off, but maybe that means I need to try it more.
Hooping, also known as hula hooping, is for more than just kids. It's a cardiovascular and total body workout as well as a stability and mind challenging activity. It involves more than just your torso but a fluid motion throughout the body. The size and material of the hoop will depend on your body size. Start by using your hips to move the hoop by shifting your weight forward and backward and eventually you'll be able to maneuver the hoop up to your arms and around your hands, head and feet.
Kayaking and paddleboarding are my favorites from this list. It's a killer workout that you can instantly feel and it can easily turn into an entire day's worth activity. The best time to buy a kayak or paddleboard is in the winter when they're on sale, but most bays or lakes let you rent them. Kayaking is primarily upper body dominated because you're paddling side-to-side using mostly shoulders and back. Paddleboarding might take some balance, but is also for the upper body. It allows for some diversity, too because you can kneel down on it or sit on it and paddle or even do yoga on it!
Some other healthy outdoor activities include rollerblading, the most killer of workouts, treading water or swimming, and pretty much any beach sport such as volleyball, kan-jam, cornhole, badminton or soccer. Don't become a lazy social butterfly and enjoy the summer fun by staying fit.
—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.
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