Fitness: Changing it up for the Summer

Summer is here! and I haven’t been to the gym in about 3 weeks *gasp!*.

The last couple of years of going to the gym and working out using circuit training or a group exercise class, I found that it can get a little boring after a while.  In the summer, I want to spend as much time outside as possible, which makes it the perfect time to change it up and make fitness fun.

In the last 3 weeks, I have ditched the gym and found other ways to burn calories.  I’d like to share them with you, because summer is the perfect time to switch it up and find new ways to be active, to new things and even meet new people.

SUMMER BOOT CAMP

Participating in a boot camp workout is a way to get intense cardio and strength training.  During the summer months, many of the boot camp programs held are outside – so you can also get your tan on.  The boot camp programs I have tried allow you to pay for a period of time or sessions so you can commit yourself to a specific time each week.

Here are some bootcamp programs that I have participated in the Toronto area:

Fit Chicks, Various locations across GTA, $120 to $298

Fit Chicks is a women’s only boot camp that has classes across the Greater Toronto area.  They offer outdoor session during the summer with 4 and 8 week programs.

Last year, I tried a 4 week program at High Park.  It was easy to get to, with a small class size of about 10 people with a really great instructor.

Toronto Fit Factory Fitness, Monarch Park and Yonge and Wellesley, Toronto $30 to $1000

Fit Factory is the latest boot camp I have tried.  I took advantage of their 30 days for $30 promotion.  This program is perfect for the summer because all I need for bootcamp is a month, then I can move on to other outdoor activities for the rest of the season.  Fit Factory also has monthly memberships for those looking for something long term.

Out of the two boot camp programs that I have tried, Fit Factory is definitely the most challenging. I would recommend both programs, but for those who want the most intense workout in a short period of time, I would suggest Fit Factory and you can’t go wrong with the 30 days for $30 promotion.

Other ways to switch it up for the summer:

Getting involved in sports like swimming, tennis or paddle boarding.  Check out your local YMCA for fitness programs or find a listing of Tennis courts (which are free for use) and get out there and play.  Summer is the perfect opportunity to get involved in the sports you have always wanted to try, or the ones that you used to play in school, like beach volleyball at Ashbridges Bay Beach, basketball, baseball or soccer.  Almost every community has adult leagues where anyone at any level can play and have fun as well as work places that have organized team sports.

OUTDOOR YOGA

What would be more perfect than outdoor yoga?  There are yoga studios all across the GTA, but let’s check out the ‘no excuses’ classes.  By ‘no excuses’ I mean, you can get outside in the great weather and it’s FREE – so there’s no excuse not to try it.

Harbourfront Centre has free Yoga sessions every Thursday at 6:30 starting June 26.  I attended the first session last Thursday and they had a really great turn out.  Each week, they will focus on the practice of yoga with a specific emphasis on yoga for the heart, for runners, and for stress management.

There’s free Yoga in High Park every Sunday at 10am and I can’t forget Yogapalooza that will also be held at Harbourfront Centre on August 16 and 17.

RUNNING OR WALKING

The easiest of them all!  Just lace up and hit the pavement.  You can do it before work, on your lunch, after work or on the weekend.  The best part is to find a magical place to walk or run. The lakeshore, from Toronto’s east end to Mississauga’s Port Credit is the perfect place to get a good run or walk, along beautiful scenery.

The possibilities are unlimited – because you can participate in marathons, bike rides, fitness or charity challenges.  It’s all up to us to find these opportunities and take advantage of them to better bodies and our minds.

I hope everyone has a fun and active summer.  It’s a short season, so let’s make the best of it!

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