Great Summer Workouts
Working Out in the Mountains
Want a whole-body workout in rocky and mountainous terrain? Try pole hiking,
What you'll need are a set of aluminum, rubber-tipped poles and a good pair
of hiking shoes. The poles costs between $70 and $100 and are sold at some
sporting goods stores or at walkingpoles.com.
Using the poles allows you to involve the upper body in activity that
normally works mainly the legs and glutes, says Calabrese. "You move with
quicker, smaller steps, your arms are pumping and it's almost like
race-walking," she says. "The upper body motion really gets the heart
rate going. It's a great way to add some intensity to your hiking."
It's also great for a beginner because using the poles reduces stress on the
knees and distributes the body's weight more evenly.
The mountains are a great summer workout location because it's usually
shadier and cooler in hilly terrain. Since you'll be gaining altitude, you may
notice a drop in temperature as you climb. In desert climates such as Tucson,
Ariz., where summers can be scorching, many people make the 40-minute drive up
Mt. Lemmon to escape the 100-degree temperatures in the city. Then they hike in
the 70-degree shade of pine trees.
Wherever your mountains are, exploring them is a great way to take a workout
outdoors. Ayres says to bite off little chunks of the mountain, power walking
for a specific amount of time, then resting and repeating.
"It can be a way of doing natural intervals," says Ayres, when you
push the body, then rest alternately.
In Winston-Salem, N.C., Pittsley hikes in the Appalachian Mountains.
Take a picnic lunch, he says, and hike until you find a view somewhere to
spread out, near a pretty steep incline. Relax and have lunch, he says, taking
in the view and the scents and sounds of nature. Once you've rested and
digested, use the incline to challenge yourself.
"Walk up with strong, bold steps and then walk down slow for
recovery," Pittsley says.
Repeat this 10 times and you've got yourself a nice workout, he promises.
Compare it to running the bleachers at the local football field. (If you never
ran bleachers, chances are someone you knew boasted about doing it.)
If you've got a mountain bike, many areas have miles of dirt trails great
for the fat, nubby tires of a mountain bike. Even moderate trail cycling is a
great whole-body workout that doesn't feel like exercise.
Exercise on the Beach
If you're going to the beach this summer, says Ayres, pack a mask and some
fins and snorkel. "It's not going to be this high-end cardiovascular
workout," he says, but it does keep the body moving. "You're using big
muscle groups and the fins add increased resistance. It's great work for the
back extensors, the lower limbs, and the trunk."