While the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle are too numerous to count, exercising outside during the summer can become challenging. As the heat turns up, overheating can become a problem even for the heat-loving. But with ample sunshine and longer days, there are more opportunities for the entire family to get outside and get active. Use this time to jump-start your exercise routine and encourage family members to do the same.

We encourage you to try a few of these fun and easy summer activities so the entire family can stay active this summer.

Take a hike

A family hike is a perfect way to spend quality time together while getting some exercise (in the shade!). Experience the outdoors as a family in the mountains or the many wooded trails throughout the Triangle. Here are some favorite hikes to check out.

Garden as a group

Gardening is an easy way to get outside for some activity while getting the job done. Include the entire family in the physical exercise by assigning tasks such as hauling, pulling weeds, digging and planting.

Spend the day at a park

Start by packing a healthy picnic with snacks such as fresh fruit or sliced veggies with hummus. Be sure to take along plenty of water to stay hydrated. If your family is hard to please, seek out a park with a variety of activities, such as kayaking, nature paths, volleyball and playgrounds. Bring a frisbee or a football and play for at least 30 minutes. Take a break in a shady spot and play some more!

Sign up for a 5K

Organized fun runs are happening all the time in our region. A great way to get involved in the community AND stay active is to sign up for a 5K or a fun run with the whole family. These runs are usually non-competitive and allow runners/walkers to go at their own pace.

Find a swimming hole

Everyone is familiar with heading to the beach or a pool to swim during the summer, but have you ever swam in natural waters? The Triangle has several lakes and rivers that allow safe swimming, and if you look further out to the N.C. mountains there are tons of options for natural swimming holes. Bonus points if there is a short hike to the watering hole!

Participate in a beach clean-up

If you want to give back to the environment, beach or other outdoor clean-ups are the perfect way to do so while getting some exercise. Beach clean-ups are great for people of all ages and teach valuable lessons about protecting our planet. Enjoy the outdoors while staying active and experiencing the wonderful feeling of keeping our world clean.

Join a sports league

You don’t have to be a professional to play in a game this summer. Most cities offer organized sports like kickball, softball or flag football leagues. Community leagues help you to keep moving while meeting your neighbors. And who knows, you might unleash your inner athlete!

Go rock climbing

Rock climbing, with the proper knowledge and supervision, can be an exciting way to turn the outdoors into your own gym. Even if you don’t have the equipment or know-how, try a rock climbing gym for some indoor fun.

Practice summer safety

Summer can be the perfect time for outdoor family activities, but stay safe with the higher temperatures. Avoid getting overheated by always listening to your body and taking breaks as needed. Remember to stay hydrated, and pack enough water for the entire family, including any furry friends! Wear sunscreen and reapply throughout the day to avoid painful sunburns and lower your risk of skin cancer.

From our team at Cary Orthopaedics, here’s wishing you a safe and active summer!