3 Trainer-Approved Ways to Make Your Summer Workouts Adventurous *and* Effective

Photo: Getty Images/domoyega
Summer includes all of the good weather perks, from dining al fresco to hitting up a beach/pool/lake/any body of water as often as possible. So the seemingly endless opportunities to be outside without freezing your bum off make your time through Labor Day ideal for playing around with your fitness regimen—you know, because you're not solely relegated to the crowded corners of the gym or a boutique fitness studio. Turn the pool into your gym for the day? Sure. Hit up the beach for a workout? Why not. As opposed to the colder times of the year, summertime's got a laissez faire attitude toward everything, including your sweat seshes.

One way to make sure your summer workouts are fun and still effective? Switch things up as much as you can. Whether you want to take things indoors or out, the pros agree that changing things up will pay off big time—not just in terms of making sweating more exciting. Here, fitness trainers reveal their top tips for making sure your summer workouts are challenging and adventurous... up until it's just too damn cold to run along the beach.

1. Get creative outside

If you live near a park, beach, or even just have a backyard, then you've got the perfect excuse to escape the gym and head outside. Will Torres, trainer and founder of Will Space studio in New York City, says taking your workout outside is a great way to switch things up and challenge yourself. "Build a routine where you can take your workout outside and make it just as dynamic," he says. "Find a park or a side street with a bench where you can practice push-ups and assisted dips, climb playground monkey bars to practice your hanging skills, elevate your feet on a bench and practice pistol squats, and explore locomotive movements, like a lizard crawl or squat crab walk." Get creative with it.

2. Turn fun activities into workouts

You're not exactly dipping into bodies of water in the fall or winter, so trainers encourage you to take advantage of being pool or beachside for some exercise. "Try activities you wouldn’t in cold months like stand-up paddle boarding, hiking, or playing sand volleyball," says Irene McCormick, senior director of fitness at Orangetheory Fitness. This is something you can even do while on vacay (think swimming or kayaking or playing tennis) because it's basically fun disguised as a workout.

3. Switch things up

With the newfound options summer brings in terms of your workouts, there's more of a chance to actually switch things up when you sweat it out. "Periodization is a training technique the professional athlete would use to ensure their training is continuing to meet their performance goals, and this is just as important for the recreational exerciser," says McCormick. "Periodization means to regularly change up certain variables in your fitness routine. The idea is to gradually increase the training stimulus by manipulating the intensity through volume (how much/how often) or load (how light or heavy), over the course of a week or a month." So this could look like adding an extra workout (or two) into your week and playing with different weights. So be sure to cycle through swimming, park workouts... and, of course, a recovery day at the beach.

Oh, and this is the actual difference between training and running shoes, for the sake of your footwear. And this is the one place on your body trainers say you should never use a foam roller.

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