The sun is shining, the birds are singing and your body is probably ready to shine and sing too.
“Get out there and move,” urges Meg A. Thomas Ackerman, of the Michigan Fitness Foundation, which is home to the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports. “Even if it’s just 10 or 20 minutes a day, there are tremendous health benefits across the board.”
Here are six fun ways to get in shape this summer:
Hit the gym
- If you don’t have a membership, consider signing up for one. If you do, take advantage of it.
- HAP Advantage offers many health and wellness discounts. You’ll get more bang for your buck!
- Whether it’s been a few months or a few decades since you last exercised, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor first. Then, schedule a visit with a certified physical trainer to get a sense of your current fitness level.
- New classes are often introduced at the start of each season. So you may find appealing exercise options at your gym that weren’t there the last time you visited.
Join nature’s gym
- The weather’s warmer and the days are getting longer. Why not get out of the fluorescent lights and into the sunshine?
- Walk, bike or run outside. Research shows outdoor workouts tend to be more strenuous physically and emotionally beneficial than indoor pursuits.
- Cyclists expend more energy on bike paths than on a stationary bike, and runners flex their ankles differently on pavement than a treadmill.
- Even if you’re just going for a walk, being outdoors provides a boost to your mental well-being.
Try something new
- Run a 5K. It’s easier than you think! We can get you race ready in just nine weeks as part of our 5K Challenge. Learn more in our series of short videos.
- Never played racquetball? Take a swing at it at Belle Isle Racquetball. They have six outdoor courts overlooking the Detroit River.
- Curious about Pilates or Zumba? Sign up for a session and try them out.
- Summer is a perfect time to indulge in the new, so play the field and try several activities. Then, circle back to the ones that put a little extra bounce in your step.
- Check out organized sports leagues with HAP’s partner ComePlayDetroit.
Find a workout buddy
- Some of us love the quiet meditation of a solitary run. But if you tend to lose interest faster than you can say “five-minute mile,” reach out to a pal and create a tandem workout schedule.
- Exercise can be more fun when you have someone to chat with – and harder to back out of when you know you’ll be disappointing your partner.
- You don’t have to make a major commitment. One study found that just getting a check-in phone call every couple of weeks helped keep exercisers on task.
- Do you get a charge out of gadgets? There are dozens of smartphone apps, digital trackers and electronic accessories designed to get (and keep) you moving.
- Consider Charity Miles, which turns your workout into a fundraiser for a nonprofit of your choice. Or try Pact, which promises a little cash back when you make good on your gym attendance goals.
- If all you need is a good beat, you’ll love RockMyRun, with sets to match whatever pace you find most comfortable. Another option is C25K® 5K Trainer, a free audio coach and music app by Zen Labs.
Join a community event
- Signing up for a 5K or a walkathon provides extra motivation for you to get out every morning.
- Keep an eye out for local fundraising event that include exercising.