Body & Soul: Warm Weather Workouts
by Agnes Ramsay
Hoping to have more time in July and August to get into shape is often the plan, but the reality of barbecues, day trips and the hot, lazy days of summer has those days, weeks and months flying by. The bike is primed and ready to go and those sneakers are at the ready by the back door for an early morning walk, but once the ‘too’s’ set in, the best of intentions fly out the window – it’s too hot, it’s too humid, it’s too boring or you’re too busy.
Three years ago, I got a spring tune-up on my bike, but after riding it once, it was too much effort to get it down from its hook in the garage. The more I thought about it, I realized that I was headed down the wrong path – figuratively and literally. It wouldn’t make sense for me to advise you to take up skateboarding as a fitness activity if you’re not going to be compliant – as compliance is the key to any fitness regime.
It’s important to find new ways to motivate ourselves. The latest rage is fitness trackers. Most of us love to receive feedback (how many steps?) and incentive (you win virtual rewards and can compete against others). Use these devices if they work for you, but it’s important to add in the fun factor, as that’s what’s going to keep you going. Often it’s the tried and true activities that are the most enjoyable.
Starting with your own neighbourhood, figure out several routes with varying distances. Write them down across the top of a page with the directions and distance. Each time you do one, record the date and how long it took. You can then track your improvement over time.
Pick a predetermined series of Ontario hikes. There are so many choices, so pick several that are appropriate to your skill level to do over the course of the summer. Write them down, and preplan your days to revolve around the hike.
There are some great old railway trails in Ontario. If you haven’t biked in years, this is a safe way to get back into it. Remember, you never forget how to ride a bike. Plan a weekly ride by checking out the following: ontariobiketrails.com/rail-trails/ and webhome.idirect.com/~brown/
◆ Rideau Canal Trail, Ottawa
◆ Bruce Trail (choose sections from
◆ Niagara Parks Trail, Niagara-onthe-
◆ Bluff Trail, Awenda Provincial Park
◆ Durham Forest, York Region
|SHAKE IT UP
◆ Play tennis on a deserted court
◆ Pick fresh berries
◆ Rent a kayak on a local lake
◆ Volunteer to do tree planting
◆ Go bowling in an air conditioned alley
|HOT WEATHER TIPS
◆ Avoid the mid-day heat and do
◆ Drink lots of water
◆ Wear sunblock and a hat
◆ Dress in light clothing
◆ Rest in a shaded or air conditioned
|Agnes Ramsay is a Registered Nurse, Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach specializing in Electric Muscle Stimulation Training.|