Staying Active this Summer

girl-track-shoesFor many teens, the thing they are most looking forward to as the school year ends is vacation, and stress–free days. After many months of mentally exhausting work, projects, and presentations, it’s understandable why students just want to relax. Even though it’s very tempting to stay indoors with the air conditioner and TV on, it’s important to make sure to get plenty of exercise. After all, the sun is shining, the weather is beautiful – why wouldn’t you want to enjoy the outdoors?

On the other hand, there are also many things that aren’t so fun about summer – the bugs, the scorching sun beating down on your skin – it gets a little overbearing sometimes! However, there are still many ways to enjoy exercise in the summer. If you like to stay indoors when the temperatures are a bit high outside, there are still many other options to stay active! For example, you can take a class at your local YWCA. It’s a great way to stay active, and meet people from your community. You can also encourage your friends to join the “Y” with you, so you can motivate each other to get fit. Not only that, you can also find a dance studio at a community recreation center. Dancing requires you to use your entire body, so you’ll get plenty of exercise and have lots of fun with your friends.

The level of intensity of exercise can differ from person to person, based on how active a person is or wants to be. It’s important to remember to do what YOU can do safely. Not everybody’s stamina is the same, and some exercises that are easy for your friends may not be possible for you to do. Aerobic exercises are those where the large muscle groups are constantly being worked. According to, teens should participate in aerobic exercises every day for the short and long–term health benefits. Examples of aerobic activities include jumping rope, swimming, dancing, soccer, running, roller skating, bicycling, etc. recommends that teens get at least 60 minutes of aerobic exercise a day.

While exercising can be especially enjoyable when the sun is out, remember to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn. It’s also best to exercise outside before 10am and/or after 4pm when the sun is not as intense. Wearing protective clothing, a hat and sunglasses with 99-100% of UV absorption also helps to reduce your risk of sunburn and skin cancer.