July 12th, 2019

// The season of the weekend warrior. Fitness tips to make the most of summer activities

The season of the weekend warrior. Fitness tips to make the most of summer activities 

After months of sitting indoors waiting for warmer weather, summer is upon us. Weekend warriors across Canada are heading outdoors to enjoy seasonal active pursuits at beaches, cottages, and campgrounds. But are we really ready?

According to Abby Johnson-Bertran, team training specialist with GoodLife Fitness, starting with some basic fitness moves can help reduce injuries, improve stamina and make all our favourite summer pastimes more enjoyable. 

Below are three unique fitness-related story ideas for summer. We can connect you with a fitness expert in your area to recommend and demonstrate some fun workout moves to prepare for camping, expand your workout into a new dimension and tone your tootsies.1) Tune-up before you tent. Camping is becoming more popular among millennials and Gen Z. More millennial (32 percent) and Gen X campers (38 percent, up from 30 percent in 2016) now identify themselves as lifelong campers – and 90 percent of teen campers say they plan to camp as adults – indicating their desire to continue their camping lifestyles.

  But all that hiking, paddling, putting up tents and building campfires take strength and stamina. A spontaneous camping weekend can leave you with a bad back, a twisted ankle and too exhausted to enjoy more summer fun. Johnson-Bertran suggests smart campers add some functional fitness moves into their regular workouts to help prepare for and make sure they’re ready for the physical challenges of camping. Exercises that stabilize your core, build strength in your legs and glutes, as well as build your cardiovascular capacity are good places to start. 2) Make a lateral (workout) move. Most workout moves and exercises have us moving forward and backward, up and down. We rarely move side-to-side or in a diagonal direction.

  According to Johnson-Bertran, we tend to focus our eyes in front of us when we exercise (think running, lifting weights), but lateral exercises can help us adapt to unexpected movements – like jumping to the side to avoid a rock while running or hiking or catching ourselves to prevent a fall when walking the dog. By adding lateral movements when we exercise, we can correct muscle imbalances, stabilize our pelvis and hips, build stability, strengthen smaller muscle groups and reduce injuries.  Some of the best exercises for lateral movements include side lunges, side shuffles, lateral bear crawls, jumping jacks and speed skaters. 3) Fitness for summer feet. During the summer months, our feet are out there, supporting us as we hike, swim, hit the tennis ball and walk on the beach. Many people don’t realize that feet are (literally) the root of our physical health – when you walk or run, the way our feet hit the ground can lead to injuries, pain and poor alignment in our ankles, knees, hips and more. In fact, the foot and ankle are the most common body parts to be injured by Canadian adults aged 20-64. 

Feet are often overlooked in the typical workout routine, but fitness experts in your area can show you five stretches and five strength exercises to provide more stability, improve flexibility and range of motion and prevent or relieve common injuries. 

If you like any or all of these story ideas, we can connect you with Abby Johnson-Bertran, or a fitness expert in your area, to talk more about these topics and suggest workout ideas for weekend warriors.

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