It’s the hottest (often literally!) holiday of the entire summer, and one most of us look forward to all year long. July 4th celebrates the birthday of the United States of America, and the most common form of celebration is the community picnic with fireworks. It’s great to spend time with your friends and family, and everyone enjoys a day off, but don’t let the holiday celebration plop your bottom into a lawn chair for the day.
Instead, why not take part in some of these fantastic activities that the entire family, from kids to grandparents, can join in on? As a bonus, we’ve included the calorie counts of some popular picnic foods so you can see if that Firecracker popsicle is really worth it! (hint: it’s a good choice!)
by Kelsey Murray
The 4th of July is quickly approaching and along with lighting firecrackers and watching fireworks shows, many of us tend to eat a lot of high-calorie foods such as hamburgers and potato salad on this summer holiday. If you want to burn off these extra calories while still celebrating the holiday, try these red, white, and blue activities everyone will enjoy.
Red: For your red exercises, it’s time to regress to your childhood days. Find a red ball like the one you used to play with when you were younger. It could be a basketball, a tether ball, or even a baseball (the stitches are red) and then enlist a friend or family member to join you in the fun. Throw the ball back and forth, roll it down a hill and chase it, or just play a traditional game. Either way, using a red ball is a great way to get in some cardiovascular exercise this Fourth of July.
As a runner, there’s nothing more wonderful than a cool morning, a gentle breeze, and some scenery. I love to run outside. Because of where I live, I typically run on pavement in neighborhoods. Sometimes I manage to run through parks and even along rivers during my weekly training. When everything is in sync, there’s noting better, but that’s just one runner’s opinion.
Many runners run outdoors on the pavement. However, there are also a lot of runners who actually prefer the treadmill. As I’ve had my fair share of terrain experience, I can safely say that neither is necessarily better, but they are very different.
Road running naturally creates many benefits for the training athlete. Because of the uneven surface the outdoors provides, the body gets a complete workout. Stabilizing muscles have to work harder out on the road as the runner has to shift to adapt to the changes. Road running will also bring its share of climate obstacles. Wind will provide great resistance training and heat and cold can also help the runner prepare for any given race day condition. Another major bonus of road running is that it burns more calories than treadmill running as it is more intense and demands more energy from the leg muscles.
The summer brings about several wonderful things. Kids long for the summer because they don’t have to go to school, and parents can often look forward to summer vacations and spending more time together as a family. While you are running around trying to find activities for the kids to do this summer, it can be easy to lose track of your own fitness.
Many summers involve family travels and vacations, summer camp, sleepovers and swimming activities. With just a little creative thinking, you can continue to get your daily fitness activities in regardless of the number of summer activities you’re juggling. Just because the summer is here doesn’t mean you have to neglect your body and well being. Everyone can use the summer to become more fit and enjoy the extra sunlight. Try some of the following recommendations to fit in fitness during the hectic summer months when schedules can be a little crazy.
Now that the weather is warming up and summer is on the way, you may be itching to ditch the gym for a little time out in the sunshine. Who could blame you? Not I! But instead of foregoing your gym routine all together, why not take your usual strength moves and cardio activities into the great outdoors? Read on for five exercises to do just that!
5 Exercises That Easily Go From the Gym to the Great Outdoors
1. If you normally hit the treadmill…try trail running or hiking! The change of terrain when trail running or hiking will work your legs in new ways and you’ll have much more beautiful scenery than the sweaty guys lifting weights!
Friday, May 20th is Bike to Work Day, so dust the cobwebs off of your bicycle, strap on a helmet and pedal your way to better health.
The mornings are heating up as summer approaches so take advantage and ride your bike to and from work this Friday. Biking can burn up to 500 calories an hour, depending on your size, so you can easily fit in a killer workout while you commute.
Biking is the perfect way to exercise. While it’s a great cardiovascular and lower body workout you can do in the great outdoors, it is also a cheap, green and fast form of transportation. Bicyclists can ride right with traffic, sometimes faster, and eliminates the need to search for parking, pay for gas and pollute the air.
Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner. It’s not just a great time to bond with family and friends as we kick off the summer of 2011, but there are great opportunities to get a little exercise in as well. Since the weather will hopefully be warm and sunny wherever you are, let’s hit the outdoors and have some fun!
While the deeper meaning behind Memorial Day is to commemorate the men and women who have served our country in the Armed Forces, it’s also a time to enjoy a little outdoor fun with friends. Here are some activities you can take part in and how many calories you can expect to burn in the process:
Hitting the links is not only a nice way to get a few miles of walking in, you can get your competitive juices flowing as well (even if it’s just a matter of competing with yourself). According to a study by Neil Wolkodoff, director of the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences in Denver, putting in just 9 holes of golf, carrying your clubs and walking, you will burn about 700 calories. (more…)
Family outings and reunions are very popular this time of year and sometimes can be rather boring if you’re not at the lake or other hot spot. I love being outdoors and playing games with the family to waste away a nice relaxing weekend. But make sure to stay well hydrated during the day to avoid any serious injury.
Top Outdoor Family Games/Activities
1. Swimming- Hit that local pool with the family; nothing better than a nice dip on a hot summer day.
2. Playing Catch- Playing catch with a football/baseball is a good way to bond with one another.
3. Volleyball- Set up a small volleyball net in the yard and get a quick game going; fun for all.
3. Basketball- Shoot some hoops or have a nice game of “HORSE”.
4. Croquet- Great game for the entire group; make sure to look up the rules because it’s more fun if you know how to play.
5. Horseshoes- Put a couple rods down and have a good round of shoes; great partner game.
6. Washers- Kind of like horseshoes and challenging as well.
7. Frisbee- Fun, fun, fun; it’s all in the flick of the wrist.