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Summer is the perfect time of year to get out and move your body

Posted June 25

Remember when you were a kid and exercise was fun and completely natural? A summer day as a kid might have consisted of climbing trees, going swimming, riding bikes, playing tag or shooting a basketball. Why do we overcomplicate exercise as adults? (Deseret Photo)

Remember when you were a kid and exercise was fun and completely natural?

A summer day as a kid might have consisted of climbing trees, playing kickball with neighbor friends, going swimming, riding bikes, playing tag, shooting a basketball, etc. Why do we overcomplicate exercise and movement as adults?

There's no one "right" way to exercise and the truth is regular movement will be far more doable when it's fun and enjoyable rather than a form of punishment for your body. Sometimes we get all wrapped up in do's and don'ts with exercise. And in the process, we're left feeling paralyzed and don't take action because it all can feel too overwhelming. The important thing to do is move your body — it's not about exercising "perfectly."

Summer is the perfect time of year to get out and move your body in a way that's fun for you. When thinking about ways to move your body more, a great place to start is to ask yourself what you used to enjoy when you were a kid. Start trying to incorporate more of those activities into your life and you'll never feel like you're exercising again — it will just feel like you're connecting to your younger self and having a grand old time doing it!

Experiment with these free and inexpensive ideas to make exercise a regular part of your life.

  1. Take your kids to the park and play tag. Don't have kids? No problem — play an adult game of tag. If tag isn't your thing, try some type of lawn game like Spikeball, croquet or cornhole.
  2. Go for casual bike rides around your neighborhood. If you want to spend some meaningful one-on-one time with someone you love, ride bikes together. Meandering through your neighborhood streets on a beautiful summer evening riding bikes can be a great way to connect with a loved one and to move your body in the process.
  3. Organize a neighborhood (or family) kickball game. There's nothing like a little competition to make exercise enjoyable and fun.
  4. Pick a sport backup you used to love. So often when we grow older, we drop the activities we used to love. Join an adult league for whatever sport you used to do and enjoy the activity again.
  5. Try something new. If you've always wanted to play tennis but you've never learned, now's your chance! Or, if you want to learn how to swim so you can regularly exercise in the pool, invest in some lessons or see if someone you know will help show you how. Learning a new active sport can make exercising feel like a breeze.
  6. Turn on some fun music and dance like no one's watching. This is a classic! Moving your body to a great song brings a joy like no other. And, it can help let off some steam in the process on an extra stressful day.
  7. Walk. There's nothing like a peaceful summer morning or evening walk. Take some time to slow down and just walk around, taking in the beautiful sights around you. Walking is one of the easiest and actionable ways to move your body each and every day.

The important thing here is to try to make exercise fun. If hitting the gym and powerlifting is enjoyable and fulfilling for you, keep doing it! If you're feeling like getting up and moving is a constant struggle, consider looking for activities that connect you with the people and memories you love most.

Paige is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in helping people heal their relationship with food. She hosts Nutrition Matters Podcast and has a private nutrition consulting business based in Salt Lake City.

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