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Posted: June 3, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Make summer fitness fun

Family Features

For most people, there is typically one main motivator for wanting to get in shape for the warmer weather months — they want to fit into the smaller, more revealing clothing of the season.

Whether it’s a new swimsuit they’d like to purchase in a smaller size or they just want last year’s shorts to fit more comfortably, getting a beach-ready body can often seem unattainable. But summer boasts an abundance of outdoor activities that take away the “chore” of getting in shape. Focus on the fun of the season, and before you know it, you will be fitting into your favorite summer wardrobe staples.

“Now that the weather is warmer, people are outside training more,” said KT Tape Founder Jim Jenson. “It is important to have the proper training gear and equipment to avoid injury.”

Go take a hike

Nothing allows you to take in the peace and tranquility of nature more than a long hike. This summer, incorporate many long hikes into your weekly routine and build up your endurance with this beneficial cardio exercise. Check with your county and state parks for trails and expand on your hiking skills, advancing in difficulty levels and length as the season progresses.

What it works: Hiking engages the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and gluts. This activity also strengthens your abdominal core, especially while carrying a heavy pack.

Break a sweat, courtside

All you need to increase your heart rate is a basketball and an empty court at the local park or school playground. Practice shooting, normal dribbling, dribbling while doing sit-ups and dribbling behind the back of your legs. Make it a weekly event to gather for a game with friends and you’ll forget you are even working out.

What it works: Basketball can be a full-body workout, but it mainly targets your triceps, shoulders, biceps and pectoral muscles.

Go for a swim

While the summer days often bring about occasions to relax by the pool, there’s no reason not to jump right in. Take refuge from the sun’s heat and burn calories at the same time by swimming. This exercise is a top choice for those with physical limitations or who find simple cardio activities — such as walking, hiking or jogging — difficult or painful.

What it works: Swimming works all major muscles groups, especially the shoulders, abdominals, legs, hips and back.

When the weather warms up and spending hours at the gym sounds less appealing, give a few of these fun activities a try. For more fitness tips, visit www.elivingtoday.com.

 

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