Fun Ways to Stay Active This Summer

Bryan Lockley- Fun Ways to Keep Active This Summer

In the summer months, it’s no fun being cooped up inside all day…okay, maybe if you’re a teenage boy playing video games inside all day, oblivious to the gorgeous weather, that’s fun for you. But is it healthy? Not so much.

You may associate staying fit and active with owning a gym membership and going there on a regular basis. However, when summer rolls around, you don’t necessarily have to waste away the beautiful days inside the gym. Outdoor activities are often an even better exercise than what you’d do at the gym, and a lot more fun! Rather than using the summer heat as an excuse to avoid dragging yourself to the gym or running outside, here are some fun and unconventional ways to exercise outside this summer.

Rock climbing

Rock climbing is one of those activities that doesn’t even feel like working out. However, it’s a great exercise for your arm and leg muscles, as you stretch yourself to reach new heights on the climbing wall. On a hot day, going to your local rock gym is an excellent way to beat the heat, and if you go with friends or a date, you’ll forget all about the workout you’re getting.

Hiking and biking

What better way to enjoy a beautiful day than by removing yourself from the hustle and bustle of city or suburban life, and connecting with nature? Find your local trails, and pick a day to go with friends. If you’re not an experienced hiker or biker, you may start to feel some pain, but the gorgeous scenery you’ll be treated to make it all worth it.

Ropes course

Ropes courses are essentially jungle gyms for adults. It may not sound like climbing around on nets and walking across beams while strapped into a pulley system would be a great workout, but depending on the level of the course you choose, you may be called upon to lift your full body weight at some points. Don’t be fooled: ropes courses are challenging, often involving complex tasks that require you to employ your problem-solving skills and push yourself in ways you haven’t before, but that’s what makes them so much fun.

Early-morning yoga

Yoga can be a great group activity if you take a class, or you could opt for a more therapeutic solo experience. You’ll have a more refreshed start to your day if you wake up with the sun and take your workout outside. Plus, you’ll get your workout out of the way first thing and have the rest of the day to yourself.

Take a swim

When you were a kid, you probably didn’t need to be told to go swimming. Playing around with your friends in the water was one of the highlights of your summer. As an adult, it may be a little trickier convincing yourself to go to the pool if all you associate with it is swimming laps. The fun doesn’t end when you’re an adult though! There are so many ways to get a good workout in the pool, from volleyball, to paddle boarding, or even a pool game like Marco Polo with friends.

Go kayaking

If you haven’t been kayaking before, you’ll realize right away what a workout it is for your arms, and you will definitely feel it the next day. Whatever tension you may feel in your arms, however, you’ll feel relaxed as you gently guide your kayak through the water and take in the surrounding nature.

Spend a day at the amusement park or water park

No, I’m not kidding about this one! When you think about it, you’re on your feel almost all day as you make your way from ride to ride. You can burn a ton of calories walking for several miles around the park and standing in line.

Embrace your inner child

Lastly, just have fun and you’ll get a better workout than you even know. It certainly beats staying on your couch all day watching tv or playing video games. Be a little silly and have a water gun fight or a field day competition with your friends or your kids. There’s nothing that says you have to stop having fun as an adult!

How to Make the Most of Your Winter Workout

Bryan Lockely- Winter Workout

When the skies are gloomy and gray (and dark by the time you get out of work), the wind chills you to the bone when you step outside, and there’s a coating of snow on the ground, going to the gym is probably the last thing you want to do.The only thing that keeps you going is the reminder that you’re paying a lot of money for your membership, and if you don’t go you’re basically just throwing that money away. Even then, it’s a struggle. You count yourself lucky if you make it to the gym at least once per week.

I live in Florida, so I don’t really have this problem, but I realize it’s an issue for a lot of people. Four out of five gym memberships in America go unused, and for those that do put their memberships to use, only about half visit the gym on a regular basis of 100 times or more per year. If you’re worried your gym membership isn’t getting enough use this winter and you feel yourself letting fitness fall to the wayside while you go into hibernation mode for the season, then consider a home workout routine. All it takes is some basic equipment and a little motivation to keep active throughout the winter months. Follow these tips, suggested by, for making the most of you at-home workout and by the time spring rolls around, you’ll be feeling great! Maybe then you’ll want to renew your gym membership, or maybe you won’t even need to! It’s so simple to implement fitness into your everyday routine if you’re really serious about it.

    1. Try a workout video: There are so many great free workout videos available on YouTube, that you don’t even need to purchase a fitness DVD! Yoga is one of simplest exercises you can do from home because all it requires is a yoga mat and yourself. Check out the SaraBethYoga channel for a variety of yoga sequences ranging from beginner-level to more advanced and from 3 to 30 minutes, so her workouts are designed for all levels and schedules! For a great full-body workout, check out this 7-minute workout video, and if you’re into aerobics (think classic 80s workout routine complete with leg warmers and leotards ), then check out this fun routine: Pump It Up: The Ultimate Dance Workout 2004. It really isn’t hard to fit in some fitness when you have so many great workout routines at your disposal, and if you want to take it up a notch, try an interval workout where you mix resistance training with cardio.
    2. Use your own equipment: If you have a jump rope, a hula hoop, weights, a stability ball, or any kind of equipment, then you have a sufficient home gym! Hop on the treadmill or elliptical for 20 minutes, followed by a few minutes jumping rope or lifting weights, and that’s a great workout! There are some great workout tools out there, such as the Empower Kettlebell or a Simply Fit board that make it a breeze to get in shape from the convenience of home.
    3. Make the most of your tv time: If you really don’t want to miss your favorite tv shows, but you’re crunched for time, get out of the lounge chair for a bit and take your workout in front of the tv! Use some of those pieces of equipment mentioned above and it won’t even feel like you’re working out.
    4. Take the stairs: If you have stairs in your home or work building, then you have an easy workout routine! Simply take the stairs every day at work instead of the elevator, or run up and down the stairs in your house a few times, and you’ll start to notice results.
    5. Dance: Here’s one you probably didn’t even think about. Dancing is not only a fun thing you do in front of the mirror when no one’s looking or during a night on the town with your friends. It’s also a great way to burn some calories! Blast the music to a few of your favorite songs and just freestyle it, and before you know it, you’ve accomplished your daily workout.
    6. Go on a winter run: No, I’m not kidding and I’m not crazy! Even if it’s cold out and there’s snow on the ground, there’s no reason you can’t go for a quick run. Ice doesn’t usually form on the grass, so try running across a snow-covered field and take in the tranquility of your surroundings. Additionally, running in the cold burns slightly more calories than in warmer weather as your metabolic rate rises to warm your body.





How to Fit Fitness Into Your Holiday Plans


I know, I know- you probably don’t want to see “fitness” and “holiday plans” in the same line, because if you’re like most people (even a fitness guru like me), you think of the holidays as a time to hang out with friends and family, stuff yourself on a giant holiday feast and all the inevitable baked goods, just relax. Relaxing and exercising don’t seem to go together. In fact, they’re basically polar opposites. One requires you to unwind and do absolutely nothing, while the other is about giving it all you’ve got to the point of pain and exhaustion. Even if you’re someone who incorporates working out into your daily routine, you’re probably more inclined to veg out than to feel the burn over your precious free time around the holidays.

Staying fit is vital for your health, however, and you don’t have to sacrifice your health to enjoy the holiday season. Personal trainers report seeing a drop-off in physical activity around this time of year due to holiday obligations, but according to the American Heart Association and The Centers for Disease Control, adults should engage in moderately intense workouts for a minimum of 150 minutes each week to maintain their health.

Between all the holiday parties, gift shopping, cooking, baking, holiday movie specials, and family gatherings, how are you supposed to fit in trips to the gym? Well, I have some good news. If you’re hard-pressed to find time to exercise due to your busy holiday schedule, you can cheat a little. Yes, cheat. I do not endorse cheating in any other aspect of your life, but if you need to cut back on your fitness plan a little in order to fit it in, then go for it! It’s better to cut back than to cut it out completely.

Now I’m not saying that even on Christmas day, you should cut your time with your family short in order to fit in a quick workout, but instead of lounging around the next few days feeling guilty about the copious amounts of food you consumed, why not work off those cookies and pie with some simple, mildly-strenuous physical activity? Here are three suggestions for prioritizing fitness, even when it may seem difficult or impossible to do so:

Get active with a workout buddy

Exercising is so much easier and more fun when you have someone to do it with, so find yourself an accountability partner (sibling, cousin, friend, whoever’s around) and motivate each other to get up off the couch, even if it’s just for a quick jog around the block or a walk in the park. Exercise can be a great way to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in awhile – much better than being glued to your phones or the television!

Prioritize efficiency and effectiveness

When you’re pressed for time, efficiency and effectiveness are the keys to a successful workout, so high-intensity interval training and circuit training will help you maximize your workout and burn the most calories. Interval training should always be done at a 1:2 ratio of rest to work. The intensity of the intervals will vary depending on one’s experience level, but an example would be a ten minute interval period alternating between 20 seconds of sprinting on the treadmill with 40 seconds of jogging. A simple circuit workout that can be done in a short amount of time is 10 repetitions of the following six exercises using weights: squats, deadlifts, lunges, shoulder presses, pull-ups, and pushups.


Yoga is one of the best things you can do to feel rested and rejuvenated, and you’ll feel so much better relaxing in a healthy way like this than spending all your time napping or parked in front of the tv. According to yoga instructor Jim Simonik, “Around the holidays there’s so much going on, there’s so many demands that really the last thing you want to do is to continue to deplete the body, and the mind, and the emotions.” So if you want to do both your body and your mind a favor, set aside about 20-30 minutes of your time, lay out a mat, and queue up a yoga video. It’s really that simple-yoga classes can be an excellent way to ensure you’re fitting this form of exercise into your schedule, but they’re not necessary!

Implement these tips, and you can rest assured that you’re doing everything you can to stay fit around the holidays. This busy time of year may curtail your normal fitness routine, but being busy is no excuse for disregarding your personal fitness entirely. For even more holiday fitness tips, check out this helpful list!