Summer is peak time for outdoor fitness and activities. From the sky to the surf and all the land stretched out in between, your options for adventure are endless.
If you are looking to get your feet wet, and seek an adrenaline rush, parasailing is something to look into this season. Many resort destinations offer it at the local marina, starting around $65 for a standard 600 ft. flight. For those new to this exhilarating excursion, you will be taken to a dock to meet your boat and driver, and safely be secured into a harness before being lifted to get a birds-eye view of the land and sea. You can expect to see amazing views of the islands below, whether you opt to take off from the waters in the Bahamas, the Florida Keys or Catalina Island in California. You can opt for a dry flight, or you can request to have your feet dipped in the water for an extra thrill.
For a good leg and core workout, opt for stand up board. A little easier than jumping into a surf lesson, stand up board, or SUB, allows you to stand and paddle a board through ocean or lake waters. On a board slightly larger than a surfboard, you will use balance to stay upright and navigate yourself through the water with a single oar. The beauty of this sport is that you can adjust its difficulty to your level. Start on your knees, rowing slowly and work your way up to standing and cutting through the water at higher speeds. Certain cities, like Manhattan and Hoboken, offer stand up board water tours.
For fans of full water immersion, snorkeling and diving are the top choice. Enjoying the beauty and color of underwater life, your experience can vary greatly from coast to coast. Recommended are the waters of Hawaii, Australia and the Western Caribbean where you will find the clearest and warmest waters. You can opt to take a snorkeling tour on an organized excursion or you can pick up your own gear and head to a local lagoon or reef to explore on your own. Safety is important, so make sure you check out locations ahead of time to make sure that it is safe to swim, and that you don’t disturb reef or wildlife that isn’t meant to mingle with humankind. You can generally rent gear if you snorkel or dive through a company, however, if you are going to opt to venture out on your own, buying your gear in a bundle will save you money and time searching for each individual piece. Look for bundles that include a quality silicone mask, a comfortable mouthpiece, durable fins, and a carrying bag.
For land lovers, summer specific sports allow you to a break from the norm when it comes to fitness and how we spend our outdoor time with friends and family. Heading to the local beach or park for a game of sand volleyball gives us a great sweat session without feeling like work. You can also opt to get a team together to play throughout the summer. Make sure to wear supportive workout gear that will allow you to stretch and jump, and don’t forget a powerful SPF to protect yourself from the suns harsh rays.
Tennis is also a great option for heart-pumping cardio. It is also another sport that allows you to be social. You can join a long-term league, play at a local court with friends or sign up for lessons if you are new to the sport and are looking to try something that will challenge you. Wilson’s Pro Staff 95S and Head’s Graphene Prestige Pro tennis racquets were named two of the top racquets for 2014. Priced at $199 and $189 respectively, they are on the professional end. If you are looking for a good racquet to get you started, the Wilson OS500 is a good place to start, priced modestly at just $39.99.
Though not strictly a summer activity, hiking ranks high on the favorites list. Minimal gear is needed, and you can do it almost anywhere. Hiking allows you to feel a sense of adventure, whether you are exploring your own city or blazing mountain trails thousands of miles from home. Make sure you wear a good hiking shoe to protect your ankles and your feet from the elements, like the Adidas Terrex Swift hiking shoe, and bring plenty of water. It is a good rule of thumb to bring more water than you think you will need in case you are out longer than planned or if it’s warmer than anticipated. Also, pack a light snack and apply sunscreen and bug spray to exposed skin.
Remember that summer is a time for adventure, making memories and letting go of stress. Whatever sports or activities you choose to partake in this summer, make it something you enjoy. Try something new. Get outside, and more importantly, get outside your comfort zone.