Summer is the perfect time to go outside and get active, whether that means taking advantage of the longer days by going for a walk after work, hiking with friends over the weekend, or enjoying outdoor activities as a family. 

We asked our Thrive community to share with us the small ways they are carving out time for movement and exercise this summer. Which of these ideas will you try?

Go on a sunrise run

“In order to make the most of the summer season and lighter, brighter days, I start my workouts early. As an added layer of enjoyment and accountability, I lace up my running shoes and meet my good friend for a sunrise run a few mornings a week. The best part about starting workouts early is it sets a healthy tone for the day. Combining a workout with the morning sun is a recipe to feel great. Exercising earlier in the day also helps you beat the heat and make it more likely you’ll stick to a regular routine through the summer.”

—Emily Madill, author and creativity coach (ACC), Nanaimo, B.C., Canada

Try outdoor yoga

“This summer, I am splitting my time between the city and the mountains. I walk around my neighborhood every morning, and I also do some yoga in the afternoon. If I go to my new mountain cabin I spend most of the time planting flowers, watering them and of course, hiking around.”

—Alicia de la Peña

Take walks in the shade

“I love walking with my two senior rescue pups every day, but the heat of summer means that we have to change up our routine a bit. To combat the heat and sun, we scout out new shady places with walking paths to make it easier on all of us. We find cool paths by water, hiking trails in forests and woods, or older neighborhoods that often have more mature shade trees. Trees can provide temperatures that are as much as ten degrees cooler and they provide UV ray protection. We also adjust our schedule and do our walks much earlier in the morning or wait until later in the evening.”

—Annie Bauer, mindset coach, Asheville, NC

Try water sports as a family

“I am staying active this summer by doing nightly water aerobics classes at our local public pool. We also just adopted an 8-week-old puppy to add to our clan of 10 year old and 2 year old dogs. That is keeping us very busy and active, chasing them around and trying to train a new little one. Our family has also just started paddle boarding and we are loving it! It is such a great workout and who doesn’t love being in the water when it’s hot out.”

—Kathy Lowrey, human resources specialist, Craig, CO

Take your workout outside

“I like to think of anything I do outside in the summer as fun and a bonus for fitness — hiking, biking, swimming, and exploring new parks and trails with my dog. Working out means getting into the gym a couple of times a week all year long. Once you’re over 50, you really need to focus on weight bearing exercises if you want to keep things working for as long as you can.”

—Amy Feind Reeves, career coach and author, Boston, MA

Catch up with a friend over a walk

“One of my favorite ways to motivate myself to go outdoors is to schedule a weekly or fortnightly walk with a friend. This has multiple benefits. Firstly,  I can’t look outside at the weather and decide I don’t want to go as I am committed to meeting someone. Once we meet, we catch up and chat while doing something active and healthy. I have four different friends I catch up with regularly in this manner, and I greatly look forward to these ‘walk’n’talk’ sessions, which are positive for both our physical and mental health.”

—Donna West, coastal facilities manager, Perth, Western Australia

Set a running goal for the fall

“I love to train for races. Currently, I’m training for a half marathon in early September. Races not only motivate me to keep growing and stretching all summer, but it also gives me something to look forward to in the fall. I pick fun and unique races to spice up the adventure. This season it’s a local race in Amish country where you cross the finish line to receive a horseshoe medal and enjoy hometown community picnic. I get to add another adventure (and medal!) to my collection of summer race memories.”

—Katie Sandoe, entrepreneur and executive director, Lancaster PA

Find small pockets of time to move

“I like to view movement and exercise as a continuous event rather than a once a day happening. As such, I keep active in short bursts throughout the day by taking the dogs for a walk around our neighborhood and doing a few kettlebell swings outside. I also intersperse squats with some standing stretches and even a few chin ups. All of these can easily be done outdoors and are a wonderful day to energize our bodies and our minds.”

—Candice Tomlinson, coach and hypnotherapist, Sydney, Australia

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Author(s)

  • Rebecca Muller

    Senior Editor and Community Manager

    Thrive

    Rebecca Muller Feintuch is the Senior Editor and Community Manager at Thrive. Her previous work experience includes roles in editorial and digital journalism. Rebecca is passionate about storytelling, creating meaningful connections, and prioritizing mental health and self-care. She is a graduate of New York University, where she studied Media, Culture and Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. For her undergraduate thesis, she researched the relationship between women and fitness media consumerism.