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Make the Most of Summer With Exercise Outdoors

By Sandy Schroeder

My recent tai chi class made me see just how great it can be to exercise outdoors. Each week we stood in the midst of the trees in the park and lifted our spirit as we moved to keep our bodies flexible. It was an hour of bliss and everybody left smiling. 

Think of great exercise experiences that you have had outdoors. You may be doing yoga by the water, running through the park early in the morning, or doing your early morning stretches out on the patio. All of the exercise benefits are amplified with the breezes and the sunshine. 

As summer moves ahead, pick the outdoor workouts or sports that you enjoy the most. Sailing, biking, running or playing tennis, golf or volleyball could involve the whole family. 

Tips to Make It Work 

Make sure you are hydrated - Carry water wherever you are exercising, walking, biking or just spending time outside. 

Get enough rest - Get 7 to 9 hours every night to keep your body in shape and your mind alert, ready for workouts, long hikes, short sprints or time in the water. 

Fuel your body - Skip the burgers and pizza and grill fish or veggies and eat lots of fruits and leafy green salads. If you are trying to lose weight, reduce portions and skip the fries and shakes, instead of skipping meals. 

Add buddies whenever you can - Summer walks or workouts are a lot more fun when you are trading stories and jokes. You can hold each other accountable too. 

Pack the necessary gear - Wherever you are headed, make sure you have sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, identification, headphones, towels, water and snacks. 

Alternate your pace - Choose your activities with the time of day and temps in mind. Run in early morning or early evening when it's cooler and skip the long workouts when the temperature soars. 

Keep the weekends active - Get everybody out for nature hikes, biking, swimming or camping. Make it a family project to pick new spots or try new sports. 

Don't overdo it - A day in the sun can be perfect when you take breaks in the shade, wear hats and cover-ups and wrap it up when you are tired. 

As always, check in with your doctor before starting new exercise routines.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mt. Juliet, Tenn.

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