Summer is (almost) upon us once more. Just a few more papers to write, and the odd exam or two to sit, then it’s time to enjoy some downtime in the sunshine. Of course, those looking to keep their minds and bodies active over the summer months will quickly find themselves looking for ways to stay occupied.
In terms of physical health, the summer months present a unique opportunity to enjoy exercise and fresh air in abundance. If your plan is to whip your physique into shape this summer, why not try out these activities to get yourself started?
More than 15 million Americans participate in running events each year, according to recent research by Running USA, and many more enjoy running without taking part in events. Running is one of the cheapest ways to keep in shape, requiring nothing more than a decent pair of sneakers. It brings with it a fantastic sense of freedom; you can choose your route and distance based entirely on your mood and set yourself all manner of personal goals and challenges as you build up your strength and stamina.
Running is an excellent solo activity for keeping fit. However, if you prefer company while you get in shape, running clubs are an ideal way to meet new people and pound the streets with like-minded enthusiasts. The wide range of available running apps mean that you can challenge your friends from campus too – why not see who can clock up the most mileage over the summer months?
Competitive sports are another great way to stay in shape. They’re also an easy way to make friends in your local area and develop your team spirit. If you play football, hockey, or baseball at college, keep your skills honed and your body toned over the summer months by participating in local games.
Strength and stamina are key to succeeding at many competitive sports. Indeed, they can make a huge difference when it comes to beating the competition. This is well demonstrated by the fitness regimes of pro players. Adrian Peterson and Patrick Willis, for example, are known for their highly personalised, intensive workouts. J. J. Watt’s preferred workout involves heavy weights.
It’s easy to see how a well thought-out training regime might pay dividends; J. J. Watts’ Houston Texans, for example, are looking at odds of -110 for their first game of the new season, when they clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 10. The Houston Texans also come in at +2200 in the latest NFL odds to win the Super Bowl LII outright. It’s perhaps not entirely Watts’ doing but it’s hard to imagine any coaches complaining about his strength work.
If you’re not into competitive sports, another fantastic option for keeping in shape over the summer months is to join a local Zumba class. The fast-paced, high-energy dance/exercise is seriously addictive and will help you to tone muscles in places you didn’t even know you had them. Zumba classes are held across the US and welcome participants of all abilities.
If you don’t have a great sense of rhythm, don’t worry – your sense of fun and energetic spirit are more important. And when you’ve built up your skills in class, you can show the world what you’ve got by taking part in one of the regularly organized Zumba charity events. These range from master classes to stamina-testing Zumbathons, so you can get in shape, shake your stuff to some awesome tunes, and raise money for a good cause all at the same time.
Whatever you decide to do this summer, make sure that regular exercise is part of your plan. The fitness habits we develop in our younger years stick with us throughout life – so start as you mean to go on.