The following post was written by Olympic athlete Alex Morgan, the youngest player on the US roster at 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and member of the 2012 US Olympic women's soccer team.
I've worked out all my life, with grueling hours indoors — a prerequisite for an Olympic hopeful. But when the weather outside is wonderful, who wants to spend any time in a stuffy gym? Instead, gather the family and invite your friends to join you outdoors for a calorie-blasting good time. These activities make it easy to enjoy the season — and still lose weight, stay motivated, and build muscles — so you can look your best in the height of bathing suit season and still enjoy your favorite summertime treats and picnics.
Put your mind into a "competitive" mode and show off your speed, strength, and tenacity by working out in the sunshine each day. Here are some great tips to keep you in shape outdoors much in the same way you work out at a gym:
- Swim to Keep Trim: Swimming or treading water is a great way to work the cardiovascular system. Do 20-30 minutes of laps in a pool, lake, or ocean. Swimming strengthens your chest, back, arms, abs, legs, and shoulders. Talk about a total-body workout!
- Life's a Beach: Walking in the soft sand of the beach alone is a workout. Sand gives you the extra resistance that you wouldn't have on a treadmill or on asphalt. You can do it barefooted and you'll feel a great workout in your feet, shins, and calves, and beach walking is great for ankle stability.
- Beach Buddy: You can create a great strength workout with just you and a beach towel. Alternate walking, jogging, and sprinting to work the lower body and get the heart rate elevated. The beach can be so tranquil and yet so energizing. Start out by walking, and all of a sudden you get the energy from the earth and you start to jog a little. To maximize the experience, do walking lunges or stationary lunges the length of your beach towel. Work the upper body with pushups and reverse planks and the abdominals with crunches on the towel.
Keep reading for more Summer exercise tips from Alex.
- Peace of Mind: The peaceful mood of the ocean's edge is a great time to stretch as well. Finish with some stretching, deep breathing, and meditation. Take time to close your eyes and feel the ocean mist and smell the salty air.
- Pedal off the pounds: Power up each hill on a bike to help tighten and tone your legs, hips, and butt.
- Finally, make it social! Bring your friends along for a weekly workout challenge. And for a little inspiration from the Olympic Games, download the GE HealthyShare Facebook app and carve out your own Olympian workout!