Ah, sweet summer! For many, the warmer weather of spring has likely lured us out of our cozy winter’s den, and now the activities of summertime await! If you’re planning to head to the beach, continue reading for the top 5 exercises you can’t miss for keeping you balanced and strong all summer long.
Top Summer Exercises
Farmer’s Carry: Dreading that long walk from the boardwalk to the waves while carrying all your beach gear? This one’s for you! Stand up tall with shoulders gently pulled back, core engaged, and a weight in one or both hands. Walk with the weight, staying tall and strong, without letting your body wilt to one side or the other. Walk about 30ft then back, and repeat, switching hands if only holding weight on one side. This should not be painful, especially not in the neck or back!
Squats: Beach chairs? Adirondack chairs by a campfire? Summer seat staples, but also so low to the ground! Strengthen up those legs, so you can sit down and stand up without a hitch. Stand with feet about hip-width apart. Hinge from your hips as you let your knees bend to lower down, as if about to hover over a chair. Ground your heels and squeeze your glutes to help lift you up. Perform 2 sets of 10. This should not create pain, especially not in your knees!
Tandem Balance: Sand, beach pebbles, shady forest hikes. Keep yourself balanced for walking on all these uneven terrains. Take some pillows or cushions off your couch. Stand tall with your shoulders gently back and core engaged. Place one foot in front of the other heel-to-toe. Balance for as long as you can, with the goal of 30 seconds. Perform 3x on each side. If this is very easy, and if space allows, try slowly walking forward as if on a tightrope. Safety is important! If you have a history of decreased balance or falls, start on the floor next to a counter or sturdy piece of furniture!
Single Leg Balance: I know, I know…another balance exercise. However, we spend all day switching from one foot to the other when walking, and let’s not forget about having to brush sand off our feet, stepping into or out of kayaks, and all those other transitions where we’re balanced on one leg before we can put our other foot down. So, in a safe area close to a wall or sturdy surface for a balance check as needed, stand tall and lift one foot up from the floor. Hold as long as you can, with the goal of 30 seconds. Perform 3 times on each foot. If it’s easy, stand on a pillow to increase the challenge. Again, keep safety in mind. This should not be painful! And refrain from airplane arms — keep them close to your body!
Planks: Water sports take a good amount of core strength, and planks are such a great, versatile, full-body exercise! Start on the floor and place your hands directly under your shoulders. Pull shoulders down away from the ears and think about pushing the ground away from you. Straighten your legs to make your body a plank with your core engaged, making sure not to lift your hips too high or drop them too low. Hold as long as you can without losing form, aiming for 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times. This should not be painful! If it’s very challenging, try performing this with hands on a step, a coffee table, or even the kitchen counter.
Get out there and enjoy your summer! If any of these exercises are painful, or you find yourself struggling with any of your other warm-weather activities,
give us a call today!
Athlete, General Exercise & Tips, Healthy Aging