To have an active summer, all you need to do is to just do it. Yes, that’s right, find that sport, hobby, or activity that you enjoy and get out and do it. You don’t need to run 10 miles every day or play in a tennis tournament every weekend to be considered active.
Being active is all about moving your body in a way that supports healthy joint mobility and allows you to develop strength and fitness. For each of us, this means something entirely different. How, when, and why you’re active is tied directly to how you’re feeling physically and emotionally.
To help you have an active summer, we’ve put together our best tips and advice on how you can incorporate activity into your day-to-day. Too many of us mistakenly believe that being active means a rigorous training program or huffing and puffing around the block – it’s time to put an end to these myths. Follow our tips on how to have an active summer and you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
Move Every Single Day
So often when we think of exercise and activity we think of sports like running, swimming, hiking, bodybuilding, or kayaking. This thought process creates inherent and automatic barriers to being active. It’s easy to think “Oh, I couldn’t join a gym” or “But I’m so out-of-shape” or “My joints are so stiff”.
The good news is that simple regular every day movement is considered to be exercise and activity.
- Carrying the laundry outside and hanging it on the clothesline. You have to pick-up the laundry basket, carry it outside, put it down, pick up each item and hang it on the line and later you have to repeat the process in reverse. That’s a lot of bending, lifting, and standing – in other words, activity and exercise.
- Doing the housework. Think of all the bending, lifting, pushing, scrubbing, and elbow grease that goes into keeping your house clean. Washing the floors, vacuuming the carpet, moving furniture, wiping counters, etc. – this all adds up to a lot of movement.
- Running errands. It might seem trivial, but all of the movement you do while running errands adds up. We’re guessing you have to walk around a few stores, walk to the mailbox, carry shopping bags and purchased items, etc. – again all ways you’re using your muscles and joints.
And when you add in a morning and evening walk with the dog, a trip to the park with your grandkids, a tennis game, or a yoga class – now you’re really moving and being active. Don’t ignore the small movements you do through-out the day, they count as exercise and activity.
We know that for those of you suffering from severe joint discomfort or other conditions, you might not be able to get out and do the extra activities. So don’t discount what you can and are doing. If you feel healthy enough, you can look for extra ways to increase this daily movement by parking the car a bit further from the store or by adding in a short 10-minute walk or doing some seated yoga.
Follow Your Passions
Think of that last great book you read and how you couldn’t put it down. Every spare moment was spent reading that book. We want you to find an activity that sparks the same passion and excitement inside you.
You likely have friends who are passionate about an activity or sport such as tennis, gardening, golf, quilting, swimming, pottery, painting, or walking. It’s this passion that helps them structure their days and gives them something to look forward to.
These friends are often out-and-about and always on the go, all the while they’re smiling and brimming with excitement and energy. You can have this as well – think of that hobby or activity you enjoy and determine how to incorporate it into your daily life.
All of a sudden your days will get much more active and busy. You’ve got the regular house stuff to contend with along with going to the bookstore to pick up the next book for book club or getting to the pottery studio on time or meeting up with your friends for an evening walk and chat.
When you find and follow your passions, you don’t even notice the extra movement, exercise, and activity you’re doing. However, your joints, muscles, bones, immune system, and mental well-being all notice and reap the rewards of this extra activity.
Get an Activity Buddy or Join a Group
We all have the best of intentions to get up an hour early for a walk or to get out in your kayak more or to eat more green vegetables. The thing is, we are all only human and often it’s hard to incorporate change (even change we want to do) into our daily lives.
It’s for this reason and from our own personal experience, that we urge you to find an activity buddy or to join a group that enables you to follow-through on your new intentions. Call up a friend and arrange to meet twice a week in the morning for a walk, a chat, and a cup of coffee. Join your local kayaking club where you’ll meet new people, learn how to kayak safely, and discover new waterways. Invite friends over once-a-week for a “new recipe night”, where you all cook and sample new-to-you recipes.
It’s always easy to start and stick to something new when you’ve got a friend or a group of friends who are doing the same thing. You’ll take inspiration from them and you’ll do the same for them. When it’s raining or you’re tired or you simply don’t feel like it – your friends will be waiting for you, and we all know it’s much harder to disappoint our friends than it is ourselves.
How Are You Having An Active Summer?
The one key take-away we want you to get from this article is that – yes – you can be active. Anyone, regardless of age, health, and environment can move their body and feel good about doing it.
Tell us how you’re having an active summer. Visit our SierraSil Community Facebook page and tell us what you did today to be active. Remember to tag us on Instagram and Twitter with #sierrasilsummer and tell us how you’re embracing an active summer. Your post could be just the inspiration someone in the SierraSil community needs to try a new activity or join a new group.