Ryan Healy is a personal trainer for the Lynch/van Otterloo (LVO) YMCA in Marblehead. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, and earned her BS in Exercise Sports Science from Elon University. Find more posts by her in conjunction with the LVO YMCA at yhealthandwellness.wordpress.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few weeks ago I spent seven glorious days on Kezar Lake in Maine with my family. We’ve been going there for quite a long time, lured by the quiet calm of the clear lake and the imposing mountains surrounding. One of my favorite aspects of this annual vacation is getting away from structured gym workouts and instead pushing myself physically outdoors among the trails, in the lake, and through the fields. I always wonder why I don’t do more of these activities at home when I feel so mentally and physically recharged from them. If you’re someone who hates the gym or is headed out of town soon, don’t worry, there are plenty of alternative workouts and sports to try whether you’re on vacation or at home. Here’s what I did.
After driving the first day, my body was pretty tight and stiff, and interval style swim in the lake was the perfect way to cool off and stretch out.
Throughout the next several days, my boyfriend, who’s had years of extensive training in martial arts, taught me various striking and defensive techniques as the sun rose up over the lake. A fun experience for both of us to share, even despite the strange looks we received.
We also fit in an outdoors full body strength workout using exercises like push-ups, planks, heavy bag flips, and yes, we used that birch tree log shown in the picture for overhead squatting. Equipment? Who needs that?
The next day we did a partner conditioning workout using super bands. This article from Experience Life magazine has many of the same drills we did. Heart pumping and FUN! If you don’t have a partner, you can anchor one of the bands to a sturdy base like a power rack, or in my case, the deck.
The rest of the week was filled with tubing, paddle boarding, canoeing, and swimming around the lake. It was wonderful. Was the intensity that week probably a little lower than my normal workouts? Yes. But did they leave me feeling more rejuvenated, satisfied, and relaxed after? Absolutely. There’s a time and place for everything!
What physical summer activities have you tried and enjoyed?