10 ways to exercise despite the heat

When you’re faced with high temperatures day after day, week after week, it’s hard to want to exercise and force yourself to sweat even more. Good health is important no matter what the temperature is outside, though, so think creatively about ways you can stay cool and keep moving.

Lazer Tag

There are few activities that are as fun as Lazer Tag, once you get over any misgivings you might have about pretending to shoot people. Lazer Tag is a great cardio workout that gets your heart rate up because you are running and jumping most of the time.

Skating

Roller skating or ice skating are both available at indoor rinks, depending on where you live. Skating is an affordable way to get in an hour or two of vigorous exercise, without the burden of a gym membership you might never use again.

Dance

Whether you sign up for Zumba or take a ballroom dance class, go to a club and dance with friends there, or just crank up the tunes in the kitchen, your heart’s pumping and your body’s moving. And really, doesn’t it somehow seem easier to exercise for a longer time when there’s great music playing just a little too loud?

Swim

Don’t forget the local pool or your favorite lake or beach. Swimming provides a wonderful full-body workout, requires practically no special equipment, is usually affordable and is often free, and is the kind of activity that can be adjusted throughout your life to meet your changing needs for good health. Important caution – never swim alone!

Martial Arts

Exercise with a purpose – the life you save may be your own, someday. Aside from the simple health benefits of martial arts, most people also develop a new self-confidence and self-discipline that affects their lives in many positive ways. Important caution – choose your teacher carefully, so that you find someone who understands the essence of martial arts as a way to peace, and who is not just an adult bully who is using martial arts as a way to encourage fighting and dominating behaviors.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing gyms are available in many larger cities or in universities and colleges. They usually have a variety of routes to climb so that even beginners can have fun while they are learning techniques for climbing. Rock climbing walls will help you get build muscle fibers that burn fat faster, while you discover muscles you didn’t even know you had!

Watch TV

Beg, borrow or buy a treadmill, stair stepper or stationary bike and you can slip in an hour or more of exercise every night while you watch your favorite shows. You can often get exercise equipment free or cheap from someone else’s garage where it is sitting unused. It’s worth the time to ask around.

Chase a toddler

If you have your own toddler or grandchild available, you’re all set. If not, call up a friend who has a toddler and offer to babysit for an hour or two. Take the toddler to the mall or an indoor play area and before you know it, you’ll be gasping for breath as you try to keep up. Parents need a break now and then, the toddler will have a lot of fun, and you’ll get the workout you need, so everyone wins.

Clean out a closet

Closets are notoriously full of random old boxes filled with mysterious heavy junk. You can give your arms a great workout and your leg muscles some good practice with squats, too. And best of all, you’ll have another house-cleaning task crossed off your list.

Get a Job

The best kind of exercise is the kind that someone else is paying you to do, so seek employment that involves physical work. A few people may enjoy teaching aerobics classes for their job, but that’s only the most obvious idea. Consider jobs such as carpentry (lifting boards, hammering), letter carrier (walking), tour guide (walking), package delivery service (lifting boxes), or overnight stocker at a store (lifting boxes) and you’ll enjoy the guilty pleasure of thinking, “my boss is paying me to exercise!”

Exercise helps people lead happier and healthier lives and the role of exercise in combating depression, diabetes and many chronic diseases has been well-established. The old model of endless sit ups and mindless jumping jacks is long gone and today’s healthy active lifestyle is exciting and effective.

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