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Great Summer Workouts

Working Out in the Mountains continued...

"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."

See who can find the most interesting, colorful sea life or other underwater treasures. Venture a bit further out so you take more effort to get back to the boat or shore.

If getting in the water is not your thing, put up a net and get a friendly game of volleyball going. Or throw the Frisbee or a football around. Throw far and go long, you'll be surprised how winded you can get.

How about building a sand castle? Can that be a workout? Pittsley says you don't have to build one, just start moving the sand around the beach.

Start kneeling with an empty bucket. Reach in front of you and dig out a full bucket of sand and twist to toss it behind you, alternating sides for a great oblique workout. You may not feel it then, but you may be sore the next morning, so don't overdo it.

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