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Great Summer Workouts

Working Out in the Mountains

Want a whole-body workout in rocky and mountainous terrain? Try pole hiking, says Calabrese.

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."

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