Active in the Open Air: Five Ways to Get Going this Summer

June 7, 2012

Five activities to help you stay active and fit this summerWith summer approaching quickly and the warm weather setting in, people are getting the urge to step outside, especially when it comes to exercising. During the winter and spring months, we are most often confined indoors at the gym, taking classes and following workout videos. Summer’s approach serves as a motivator to go beyond the four walls and get outside to explore nature through hiking, swimming, kayaking, rock climbing and whatever suits your fancy. Here are just a few ideas on how to spend the summer months outdoors, working up a sweat and staying close to nature.



1. Hiking

Hike throught the Blue Hills this summer and stay activeInstead of a walk around the neighborhood, take in some fresh oxygen with a trip to the wilderness. This will help expand your performance and experiential boundaries through varying terrain and interesting new locations. Try blazing the trails of the Blue Hills. Located less than 12 miles from Boston in Milton, Mass., the Blue Hills offer dynamic paths with incredible views of the city. According to the Massachusetts Department Conservation and Recreation, there are over 125 miles of trails to explore in the Blue Hills, with more paths across Massachusetts; boredom will not be an issue.

2. Swimming

Swimming is a good way to stay in shape this summerSwimming will not only get you outside, but also keep you in shape because it works out every muscle in the body. Practice your stroke at one of Boston’s (free) outdoor community pools: located in Brighton, the Reilly Memorial Swimming Pool is a quick trip to Cleveland Circle, and in Cambridge, the Veterans Memorial Swimming and Wading Pool is located right on the edge of the Charles on Memorial Drive; simply BYOBC (beach chair)! Most of the pools open June 23, while some parks open earlier in the season. Or you could work a little more adventure into your day with a trip to the Boston Harbor Islands. Grab a ferry from the harbor, and spend a day exploring one of the 12 beaches; swim in the harbor’s waters, spend time boating and even go camping.

3. Kayaking

Kayak on the Charles River in Boston this summerBoston has a lot to offer, including a great view. There’s nothing like watching the skyline while catching a wave. From the Zakim Bridge to the CITGO sign, some of Boston’s best views are taken in on the water. Charles River Canoe and Kayak allows you to rent kayaks or canoes from one of five Massachusetts locations – Cambridge, Allston/Brighton, Natick and two sites in Newton – with tours of Boston Harbor and the Charles. Glide through the water and see where your paddle takes you!

4. Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a good way to stay fit this summerA little more daring or agile? There are plenty of places to work climbing ropes around Boston and outside of the city for those with a more active lifestyle. If you’ve never climbed outside before, consider a course at the Boston Rock Gym, where you’ll not only learn rock-climbing jargon, but how to put it into action. Located in Woburn, Mass., an hour outside of Boston if you decide to take public transportation, but if you want to get there quicker carpool with your friends. This unique, outdoor experience is so close to the city you won’t want to miss out. If you already know the knots of the situation, check out Quincy Quarries, another locale where you can put your rock climbing skills to the test!

5. Create Your Own

Throw a pick up soccer or football game with friends this summerRemember, staying active doesn’t have to mean joining a class or partaking in an organized sport, but it can be all about being spontaneous and having fun. Let your inner child shine by setting up a pick-up game of soccer, wiffleball or flag football with friends; go for a jog and mix up your steps; or maybe play a game of badminton in the backyard. Think outside the house, and you’ll surely go somewhere pretty neat.

Get out there, have fun and stay active this summer.

-Liz Peters

Photo Credit: Flickr/ Prashanthr, Flickr/Jim Bahn, Flickr/jolie-c,  Flickr/Daniel Dionne, Flickr/Maria Ly, Flickr/Julie, Dave & Family