Five Fun Ways to Exercise in the Summer

Editor’s Note: Dr. Kevin Prue, PT, DPT,  from Prue Physical Therapy & Sports Performance in Cary contributed to this article.

Cary, NC – It’s finally officially summertime! That means kids are home from school, vacations have been planned and productivity at work is probably going to decrease (not intentionally of course) as we try to enjoy the nice weather. The start of summer also means a new schedule to get used to for a few months, and this change in schedule can really hamper our regular fitness routine. Here are five fun ways to get a workout in during the summertime.

1. Swimming

Swimming may or may not be part of your normal fitness routine, but the summer months are a great time to take advantage of the nice weather, get outside but also get in a real challenging workout. Utilizing a pool or other body of water, you can perform a cardio workout by swimming laps or get a strength training workout by performing resistance exercises in the water. Swimming is a great way to burn a lot of calories in a short period of time, which is perfect for your hectic summer schedule.

2. Kayaking, Canoeing or other Watersports

Sticking to the water theme, watersports such as kayaking are a great workout because it requires strength, endurance and challenges your upper body and core. This activity is a win-win for summer exercisers because you can take advantage of the summer sun and you can exercise with your entire family. This summer exercise activity will surely get your kids outside and keep them from playing video games and watching TV all day. Don’t own a kayak? Look for places that have hourly rentals such as Bond Park.


3. Outdoor Sports

If you need some competition to feel like you are getting a good workout, summer sports like beach volleyball, softball, tennis or golf are a great alternative to traditional workouts. While these sports vary in intensity, they all require you to get up and move, which will help you burn more calories during the day. Try joining a town league or just play with you friends and family.

4. Outdoor Group Exercise Classes

Maybe you’ve taken a group exercise class before, but the summertime is a great time to try something new. Break away from the traditional gym style group exercise classes and find a class that is offered outdoors. Outdoor classes take advantage of the added space and different terrains to get you a unique style workout. Look for a facility that offers a circuit training, yoga, Pilates or other types of class outdoors during the summer season to add a challenging twist on your favorite group exercise classes. As an added bonus, some facilities offer a free first class for new students.

5. Go Take A Hike

There are plenty of hiking, biking and running trails throughout our community and the summertime presents a prime opportunity to go exploring. Find a location on the greenway and start walking, or running. These trails are safe, well-marked and have good signage to help you navigate your path. To turn your hike into a more intense workout, bring a heart rate monitor to help ensure you keep your heart rate in your target zone. You can use the Karvonen formula to calculate your ideal heart rate during a workout.

Remember, whatever summer activity you choose to add to your workout routine, make sure you take proper summer safety precautions.


Dr. Kevin Prue, PT, DPT, CSCS is the president and director of Prue Physical Thearapy & Sports Performance located in Cary. He specializes in sports and orthopedic physical therapy, sports performance training and injury prevention for youth and recreational athletes. Photos by Roman Boed and chriztrax.