Get it while you can: Summer workouts for the outdoor lover


Woman running in the morning

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If you love the outdoors, summer is the best time to get outside, enjoy the warm weather and get in a good workout. Check out the following tips, activities and workouts you can enjoy outside over the summer, especially if you prefer being outdoors than in the gym.

Get a fun workout at the beach


Even a day at the beach is great for squeezing in a good workout as long as you have a volleyball and a net. Beach volleyball isn't just a great way to compete against friends, but also an ideal workout for strengthening muscles and burning calories.

A one-hour game of beach volleyball will burn 544 calories. Plus, since beach volleyball requires you to run in the sand and uses most of the major muscle groups in your body, including your abdominal muscles, legs and arms, you'll be strengthening those muscles with every run, jump and spike.

Work out in the morning

While waking up earlier than normal to work out isn't always fun, you should attempt to work out early in the morning during the summer. Making the sacrifice not only lets you get it out of the way so you can enjoy the rest of your day, but also allows you to avoid the afternoon heat and humidity that can quickly turn a fun workout into misery.

The hottest part of the day is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and working out during this time increases your risk of dehydration, and puts you in danger of doing serious skin damage if your sunscreen wears off while you sweat.

Exercise your green thumb and your body

Gardening doesn't just potentially provide you with healthy food to help keep you on your diet; you also use almost all your major muscle groups in your arms, back and legs while doing it. Plus, since gardening is a constant activity instead of spurts of activity, you burn more calories. Therefore, one hour of weeding, watering, shoveling and mulching can burn 300 calories.

Since gardening requires a lot of kneeling and bending over, it's very important that you use proper form. You need to keep your abdominal muscles firm and avoid quick twists. Most important, you need to lift with your legs and not your back.

Go swimming

No matter how big or small, fitness pools are the perfect place to burn calories and tone muscles without putting harsh stress on your joints. Since water is about 800 times denser than air, you have to work harder for every kick and stroke. This means that an easy one-hour swim will quickly burn 500 calories and a strong swim will burn about 700 calories.

Whether you're looking to swim a few laps, or you want to try water aerobics, the pool is the perfect place for any age and fitness level to jump in and get started.