Simple solutions to sweat this summer

In December 2023 - January 2024, Trucker's Health5 MinutesBy Laura HulleyJanuary 28, 2024

Stuck for ideas on how to be active this summer? Don’t want to commit to a gym or a rigorous exercise regime? Here are some ideas to keep you fit this without losing the freedom to enjoy the sunshine and precious time with friends and family.

1. Get into outdoor games and activities
You can build active time into your social sessions whenever you catch up with friends and family. This could mean having a casual game of touch, playing backyard cricket with the kids or throwing a vortex on the beach. There’s no reason why exercise can’t be fun and light-hearted. Even if you’re not sweating profusely, you are still active and moving.

2. Get out in the sun
Getting away from the truck/office and soaking in some vitamin D is essential for physical and mental health. If you are interested in yoga, Pilates or low-impact movement, taking your usual stretching session outdoors to get some fresh air and a break from the four walls of your house or workplace is a great idea.

3. Head into the bush
Kiwis are extremely spoiled by the scenery – there are many established walking tracks and bush walks with varying degrees of difficulty of terrain. It pays to research ahead of time if the walk is unfamiliar to you. The DOC website can guide you on how long a walk might take, it’s scale of difficulty and what you need to take to be prepared.

4. Jump on your bike
Every year, more biking tracks and trails are set up throughout Aotearoa. If you aren’t too confident on a bike, plenty of gentle trails don’t require a lot of skill or confidence to navigate the track. If you are more experienced on a bike, some tracks test your balance and expertise. Again, researching ahead is important to ensure you have a fun and safe ride appropriate for your confidence and experience level.

5. Join a summer sports team
Many fun sports run through summer. If your time and schedule allow, join a summer sports team. That way, you are being social while you’re getting fit. You also know that you are likely to show up to games and trainings because you don’t want to let down your team or miss out on the after-match functions.

6. Get out in the garden
If you’re green-fingered or enjoy outdoor chores around the house, the summer season is a great time to tidy up the grounds or crack into some outdoor projects. It is a good way to get some vitamin D, move your body and enjoy seeing your garden transform. Weeding, digging, building decks, moving around pot plants, mowing the lawns – they may seem like simple tasks, but they’re easy ways to be active while ticking off chores.

7. Hit the water
If you are confident in the water and enjoy being around lakes and beaches, it is a great time to grab the boogie board, kayak or paddle board and head out for a play on the water. Kayaking is an amazing workout for the upper body and core and a great way to explore. Paddleboarding challenges balance, stability and your core – it is much harder than it looks. There is the option to stay on your knees if you don’t feel confident standing while paddle boarding.

8. Save gas money
If you are holidaying in a town that is easily accessible by biking or walking, make it a challenge to yourself to leave the car at home more often and walk to the shops or beach instead. Opting for a walk/cycle instead of using the car gets your steps and active minutes up without requiring strenuous exercise and saves you a bit of gas money each day.

9. Join a local boot camp or exercise class
If you’re a gym goer, but you’re away from your usual fitness club – challenge yourself to try something new and try out a local exercise class or gym. It can be fun to meet people and experience different gym environments and styles of classes. Quite often, there are outdoor boot camps in beach towns you can jump into at a moment’s notice – and working out near the beach is a lot of fun.