Without the pressure of papers and the stress of studying weighing on us, we often give ourselves a free pass in the summer to waive any responsibilities whatsoever. However, just because you’re not hitting the campus gym 5 days a week anymore, doesn’t mean you should sit on the couch all summer. The summer allows us more opportunities to get outside and be active so we can stay in shape while having fun and return to school in the fall still rocking a fabulous bikini bod. Read on for my suggestions on fun ways to stay in shape during your summer break:
Kayaking & Canoeing
I’m an outdoorsy kind of girl, so I’ll jump at any chance to be one with nature with nothing more than a life jacket and a paddle, but lots of girls I know are wary of trying out these activities for the first time. The biggest concern I hear is that the kayak or canoe will flip, and this really shouldn’t be a concern. Unless you’re standing up and wiggling around, or facing some serious white-water rapids, these crafts are designed to remain upright, so there’s very little risk of taking a plunge. Scope out a local rental place in your area and paddle upstream, it makes the trip back (when you’re a little more tired) easier as you ride the current. Kayaking and canoeing help you strengthen your upper-body (to get sexy toned arms) and teach your muscles balance and control.
Kiteboarding, Wakeboarding, & Skimboarding
If you already snowboard in the winter, any of these sports will be a cinch to pick up. Kiteboarding requires the boarder to be towed behind a large, airborne kite, wakeboarding has the boarder towed behind a boat and riding the wakes that the boat creates, and skimboarding has the boarder ride a thin board on shallow water, building up their ability to ride it in deeper waves. Kiteboarding can be expensive, but lots of places have rentals and even lessons, so you can try it out for a day. Wakeboarding requires a boat, obviously, but if your friends or family have one already, have everyone chip in for a wakeboard to share and try out this summer. Skimboarding is the budget-friendly bet, and the safest and easiest. Throw the board ahead of you in the shallow water at the shore of a sandy beach, then run and land on the board to skim along the top of the water. It takes practice, but it’s lots of fun, and a skimboard can be picked up for as little as $20.
Remember when you were little, and you’d spend all day just wiping yourself out on the playground? Why did we have to grow up? Grab a group of friends and head down to a local playground around supper time (most of the kids will be gone by now, but it’s not so late that anybody should mind you older kids hanging around). Have a blast on the monkey bars, the swings, the teeter-totter, and playing old favourites like tag, hide and seek, and kick the can. If you’re feeling too self-conscious, you can always enlist some younger relatives along so it looks like you’re only playing because of them (who are you fooling).
Another childhood favourite that easily transfers to your college girl age: biking. Go into your local tourist information office and ask about trails and bike paths in the area. A lot of the time, these paths will take you to cool hidden locations that you can’t access by car, like waterfalls or ruined buildings. Make sure to keep your camera in tow to capture all the amazing sights you’ll see.
I’ve always heard baseball referred to as America’s pastime. Canada’s is probably hockey, which will be ending in the next few days, so what better time to grab the ball and glove and head out to the diamond. You can get a pick-up game together: play boys vs girls and have the losing team buy the first round of drinks after the game, or find a fun league to join in your town that isn’t too competitive, so you’ll be motivated to get out and play all summer.
What Do You Think?
What are you favourite summer activities? How do you plan on staying in shape this summer? Leave a comment and let me know.