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The 4th of July falls on a Saturday this year and many of us will have the opportunity to squeeze in a short weekend full of 4th of July fun. Hopefully, you will use the time to get outdoors with your family and experience some fun together.
Start with a 4th of July scavenger hunt. It’s a great way to explore the outdoors, spend time with family and friends, and get in a little exercise at the same time.
Whether you visit a city, county, state or national park; the beach; a local river or the local playground – it’s an opportunity to get more in touch with the world around you. Here is a Nature Scavenger Hunt Checklist. To celebrate the 4th of July, be sure to add items that are red, white and blue! Follow it up with a healthy picnic or barbecue and some fireworks!
Breathing properly ALL of the time, not just when exercising, is a critical component to get the most out of physical activity and life. Oxygen is the most important element needed to sustain life and breathing is the only way to get it.
Tension, poor posture, smoking and poor breathing habits can cause insufficient oxygen intake. Deep and relaxed breathing delivers oxygen to all cells and facilitates efficient clearing of carbon dioxide.
Take a long deep breath in through your nose making a special effort to fill your lungs from the bottom to the top. This, when done correctly, will push out your belly. The process is similar to blowing up a balloon. Pause briefly (1 – 3 seconds). Exhale slowly through your mouth. Make sure the inward and outward breaths take the same length of time. Continue to breathe in this fashion for several minutes. Repeat several times daily.
During hot summer months you may need to be physically active in the early morning or evening hours, when it is cooler. Another option is to take it indoors.
You can go the local mall for a power walk in their air conditioned space. You can hit the bowling alley for a different type of weight training. Find one in your area. Many bowling alleys even participate in a Kids Bowl Free Summer program.
Some archery ranges are indoors and there are many indoor rock climbing walls too. Really want to cool off? Hit the local indoor ice skating rink!
Scientists have determined that even short bursts of activity throughout the day add up.
Start adding a few to your routine each day. Exercises to do at your desk
Another easy way to add physical activity to your daily routine is to park at the back of the parking lot. Scientists have determined that you don’t need to get your physical activity in 30 minute chunks. Even a couple of minutes of activity here and there throughout the day add up!
Another advantage of walking from the back of the lot is you get a parking spot quicker and save gas not circling for a spot near the store or building entrance.
On your way back to the car – forgo your shopping cart (if you can) and add some weight bearing exercise to your routine. It’s good for your bones!
Dancing is a great way for people of all ages to get and stay in shape. Experts agree that dancing is a true sport and a valid form of exercise. Dancing uses, virtually, all of your body’s muscles: feet, calves, thighs, upper and lower back, abdominals, shoulders, neck and even arms get a workout while dancing.
Dance is a full body workout that burns calories and helps cardiovascular conditioning by lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also help strengthen bones and improve posture.
Dancing reduces stress and is just plain fun. Ever watch people on the dance floor? They are always smiling.
You can dance alone, with a partner or in a group. Whether you dance at home, a local nightclub or take a class, tonight’s the night to shake your tail feathers! Read more about dance.
There are plenty of waterways that can be navigated in a human propelled water craft that will still keep you cool. We’re talking about paddling or rowing in a kayak, canoe or rowboat but you could also sail too.
Consider taking a lazy trip down a river in a canoe.Or rafting or kayaking local white water. Take a leisurely sail or rowboat trip on a local lake. Or throw your pole in the water for some fishing on this hot weekend.
You can do an Internet search for canoe liveries or rafting outfitters for locations in your area.
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking over natural terrain in mountainous or other scenic areas. In the United States, hiking refers to walking outdoors on a trail for recreational purposes. A day hike refers to a hike that can be completed in a single day – not requiring an overnight camp. If the trail is paved, it’s a walk not a hike.
Looking for a special place to walk? Here’s a few links: Traildino – largest database of trails in the world by continent, country and region. Trailink – has information on more than 30,000 miles of bike trails, walking trails, equestrian trails, and hiking and running trails, including interactive trail maps, trail descriptions, pictures and more.
Here’s some more information to get you started on the right hiking path and some other hiking and trail resources.
Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles in order to increase muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. Stretching is a natural and instinctive activity and something you can do every day regardless of your physical condition.
People stretch instinctively after waking from sleep or after long periods of inactivity. But, by making it part of your daily routine you will find that all of your everyday activities are easier.
Stretching does not have to involve a huge time commitment, but stretching can give you huge results! Even better, there are simple stretches you can do while watching TV, on the computer, or getting ready for bed. Ready, set, stretch!