It’s finally here… vacation season!

One of the things I often hear at this time of year is that it’s hard to maintain your regular workout schedule. So true! Vacations, staycations, kids at home for the summer, studio schedules for your favourite classes slow down… so many challenges to your commitment!

Well, don’t worry, I’ve got your back: my list of the top 10 ways to stay on track!

1/ Find great places to walk every day.

Many cities have terrific parks and trails fairly close by, and even little kids can often go further on a hike if it turns into a scavenger hunt. Find some great information about Toronto Trails and Nature here! Leaving town? Make finding some trails or a cool route through a new city part of your pre-trip research.

2/ Swim.

Going to the cottage? Water is SO MUCH your friend!! Even if you don’t love swimming, water walking is serious core and lower body work. Vary the depths at which you walk to affect different parts of your body. If you do like to swim, challenge yourself to add a bit of distance every day and change up your strokes regularly so you get lots of muscle movement variety.

3/ Got kids? Play like a kid!

Seriously.

Have you ever tried to actually keep up with everything your little ones do? Try crawling for an hour and see how you feel. : )) Whether that means swinging from the monkey bars (Find some tips on why hanging, tree climbing and swinging are good for you!), playing hopscotch or rolling down the hill at the park, your kids will LOVE having you really get in there and get dirty with them.

4/ Gardening.

Not only does it feed your soul to get your hands in the dirt, but gardening is full of opportunities for natural movement: squatting, lifting, carrying, reaching and of course harvesting, if you have any food gardens available to you! This is a terrific article by biomechanist and movement teacher Katy Bowman on how to garden for the best body boost.

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5/ Paddle it up!

Renting a canoe, paddleboard or kayak is a great way to explore the water wherever you are. Whether you are in beautiful cottage country listening to loons and keeping an out for beavers or exploring the rivers or lakes if you live in a city with a shore line, paddling is a great upper body workout! Remember to do a bit of arm and shoulder movement before and after your paddle if you aren’t accustomed to it! Here’s a 3-minute shoulder warm up for you.

6/ Get off the ground.

This is kind of a follow on to #1, but in addition to finding ways to walk more, see if you can also find ways to change the terrain as you walk! Go over and under trees, get off the path (where it is safe for both you and the environment for you to do so) and allow your feet to manage something that isn’t flat and level ground. Search out some hills and climb them! Make your time in nature feel a bit more, well, nature-y by getting off the beaten path!

7/ Set yourself one goal to try something you don’t usually do.

It can be something you put a lot of time and effort into, or something you just approach for a few minutes a day, but make it something new to you. Try to do a pull-up or 10, learn how to hula hoop, take up slacklining! Learning new skills is good for your body AND your brain!

8/ Set up an obstacle course.

This could be in the play with your kids section, except YOU TOTALLY DON’T NEED KIDS TO ROCK AN OBSTACLE COURSE!! Inside or out, use whatever you have to hand. Inside? Cushions, 2 x 4’s, bubble wrap, workout gear, bolsters, wobble boards, pebbles, tables and chairs to go over and under. Outside? Lawn furniture to go over and under, rocks and tree branches, lilos (inflatable mattresses) to crawl over, more 2 x 4’s (so versatile), wading pools, you name it! Check out some inspiration for an indoor obstacle course here and a fantastic outdoor one here!

9/ Make use of the internet.

You can take a class for free pretty much anywhere at this point! Follow me on YouTube on the Boomerang Pilates channel for anything from 2 minute, body specific exercises and stretches to mini-classes. Follow me on Instagram @boomerangpilates where I will be posting #VacationWorkoutWednesday posts throughout the summer! Search any of the social media sites for whatever exercise you want to play with and there will be more options than you can shake a stick at (have you tried really shaking a stick? It’s a great movement opportunity and terrific upper body work!).

10/ And finally, you can do the Vacation Watermelon Workout.

What is that you ask? It’s an 8-minute upper body workout I created just for you using the delicious summer fruits we have available to us all summer! Follow the link above and enjoy an excellent, natural movement exploration that requires no equipment, no fancy toys or tools, just something that will ultimately be a delicious snack!

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Summer is a great time to play, to replace “exercise” with movement, to refresh your relationship with your body, your capacity for fun and the great outdoors! That said, if you are in Toronto, the studio is open all summer, so check the Boomerang class schedule maybe we’ll see you there!

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Alison Crouch

I’m the owner of Boomerang Pilates and creator of the Move SMART program. I teach teachers how to incorporate sustainable movement and authentic teaching in their classes.

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