Getting Exercise During the Summer

By Megan O'Connell, Student at University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Wondering how to squeeze in a workout this summer in between your busy or not-so-busy schedule? Whether you’re on a vacation, on a camping trip or trying to squeeze in a workout after a long day at work, I’ve brainstormed some fun summer workouts that will help you get in some exercise and take advantage of your beloved summer days.

Hiking is a great form of exercise that can be performed just about anywhere. Whether you’re hiking around the woods of your own backyard or a local park, the benefits are the same. According to, regular aerobic exercise – such as hiking – can lead to improved cardio-respiratory fitness, improved muscular fitness, reduced depression and better quality sleep. Also, hiking for one hour can burn up to 400 calories. This free app will show you hiking trails in your area.

Yoga is the perfect exercise for everyone because you can do it anywhere at anytime. If you don’t want to sign up for a class, practice yoga in the comfort of your own home by purchasing how-to books or DVDs. According to, yoga can help improve flexibility and strength, along with making you feel calmer. Yoga has been said to improve the health of many different people with many different health problems. The only way to see what yoga can do for you is to try it out. Take 15 minutes out of your day and try a simple yoga routine in your backyard or on the beach. This free app will get you started on doing yoga at home.

Ah, kayaking. There’s nothing like having a couple spare hours to take a kayak out on the river or lake. Nothing beats the feeling of flowing away from the stress of our everyday lives. Not only is kayaking extremely relaxing, you can also feel yourself getting a workout as you paddle your way around. According to, kayaking is a core fitness workout that also calms your mind and releases a sense of adventure. Who doesn’t love an adventure?

Summer is the perfect season to get your bike out or go buy one! Biking is a great form of exercise, but even better, it's an alternative form of transportation. According to, cycling is among the top three exercises for improving cardiovascular fitness. Biking is an efficient way to travel around town and squeeze in a workout. If biking to work, campus or to other activities isn’t possible, take your bike out for a casual ride around your neighborhood when you’re done for the day. This .99 cent app will help you find local bike trails!

Now here’s something I could go on and on about! As if spending a half hour every day tending to the garden isn’t fun enough, it’s also good for you.  Sure, the homegrown vegetables and fruits are great for you, but did you know the act of gardening itself is considered a workout? According to, 45 minutes of gardening-related activities could burn as many calories as a 30 minutes of aerobics. Interested in starting a garden? Go back and read my blog here. Also, check out this free app to help start and maintain a garden.

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