I get it. Exercise isn’t always something that we look forward to. Frankly, sometimes it’s hard to fit it in the day. And when it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to begin with, finding another 30 minutes to exercise is often trumped by needing more sleep, carting the kids around, or working late.
Summer is a great time for getting in what I call “accidental exercise”. You want ice cream? Great! Walk to the nearest one. Or, if there isn’t one near your house, drive to one, but park a mile away. It will be a nice walk to the shop and then a casual stroll back while you eat your frosty treat. Need to mow your lawn? Awesome! Use a push mower and log those steps as you spruce up your yard. Too hot to do anything except float in a pool? Perfect! While you’re in there walk around the perimeter (in an above ground) or do some laps in an in ground with a pool float while you kick your legs. Can’t find parking because the beach parking lot is packed? Stellar! Park down the street and work up a sweat on the walk there. You’ll save money on the parking fee, but the chill of the ocean will feel amazing when you pop in to cool off.
The weather is on your side (for the most part) for getting outside and getting a bit more accidental exercise in. Kayaking, SUP, biking, swimming, gardening, mowing the lawn, walking the boulevard, outdoor sports, etc are all great ideas for getting the body moving and releasing some endorphins. A nice walk after dinner around the neighborhood is great for decompressing after a day of work and the late sunset will give you more time to fit it in.
One of my favorite “accidental exercise” spots is just up the street from our office. Right in Casco Bay you have a super easy way to have a fun, family activity as well as check exercise off the list for the day. Portland Paddle makes it super easy to get out on the water in a safe, low effort way. They rent kayaks and SUPs as well as offer a ton of different classes and tours. If you’re new to kayaking or SUP, all of the tours are designed of people of all abilities and activity levels. If you haven’t been out to Fort Gorges or kayaked over to Peaks Island, you’re missing out! There are some incredible views as well as some amazing wildlife along the way. Fort Gorges has a wealth of history and has one of the best views of the bay. Peaks Island has a great little picnic spot towards the back side and is a great place to stop for ice cream. Personally, I’m partial to the sunset tours. I had the honor of seeing one of the most incredible sunsets on one of the kayak sunset tours and couldn’t resist capturing the picture above.
However you decide to get that “accidental exercise” in, just remember that it’s not what you do, it’s that you do it. We are super lucky to live in the gorgeous state of Maine and we owe it to ourselves, to step out of the office and out of the car to get up close and personal with it.
- Dr. Cait