Kayaking & River Rafting

When the weather is cold, nasty and – depending upon where you live – frozen, participating in activities on the water is exceeding difficult.

Never mind the fact that the cold and wind are uncomfortable, when it comes to anything involving water, cold + wind = danger.

That’s why kayaking and river rafting are strictly summer-time activities except for the very, very hardy few.

So why are kayaking and river rafting so beneficial?—it all starts with the core.

Your abdominal muscles and lower lumbar muscles are the foundation of your skeletal system. Without their strength, the rest of the body is somewhat useless.

But isn’t paddling all about your arms?

Not a chance!

While your arms are most definitely involved it’s actually the twisting motion of your trunk that provide the true power behind each stroke.

So if you’re looking for those six-pack abs, kayaking and river rafting are two off the beaten path workouts you may want to try.

Beach Running

Earlier in this post we were absolutely slagging jogging as a semi-effective, but boring workout.

The natural question to ask then is why is beach running on this list? The answer is because beach running and traditional jogging are dramatically different.

First and foremost, when your foot strikes the ground on a trail, sidewalk or street, it is coming into contact with a definitively solid object. That rock-solid impact means the muscles of your legs don’t have to work quite as hard in order to propel your body forward.

More importantly, when your foot strikes the ground on the beach – regardless of whether it is a sand or stone beach – it’s landing on a fluid surface—a surface that shifts with your weight and requires your muscles to work THAT much harder.

River Swimming

River swimming is swimming at a whole new level.

It’s also something that’s unique to summer because it’s impossible to do during the winter!

River swimming is exactly like it sounds—it’s the practice of swimming in a river. Ideally speaking, you want something more than a lazy river and, hopefully, your river is moving somewhere around 4 to 5 KPH.at minimum.

Now – and this is the important part – your objective is to swim and swim directly upstream for 100 meters. It sounds far easier than it actually is—trust us. If you find yourself struggling, swim diagonally tacking back and forth like a sailboat on the high seas. 

The Playground Workout

Similar to the prison workout but in a less conVICTional sense, this is a wondrous summertime workout that you can do at any local park or playground.

You’re looking for slides, swings, monkey bars and anything else you can do a pull-up, push-up, sit-up, dip, chin-up, plank or deep squat on.

Use what the municipal government gave you to get a raging-good workout on. To make sure you’re pushing yourself to the max, set up a body-pump playlist on your iPod (the songs should change every minute) and workout for at least 30 minutes in total. When the song changes, do a different exercise.

(Editor’s Note: Exercises CAN be repeated but not done consecutively).

Paleo Lifting

Similar to the diet that’s founded on the dietary habits of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, this is a summertime workout completely dedicated to the outdoors and working within the confines of your natural environment.

Though it may sound silly (who are we kidding, it totally sounds silly) Paleo Lifting is all about picking up, carrying, throwing, and generally moving the various heavy, awkward objects found right at your feet in nature.

See at small 20 kilogram boulder?—pick it up and carry it 25 meters.

Encounter sizeable piece of fallen timber?—lift it above your head and shoulder-press throw it forward.

The exceedingly random nature of the shape and weight of the objects used, combined with consistent variation in the movements used will challenge your skeletal structure in a brand new way, helping you develop coordination, strength, speed, and stamina.

So Which One is Right for Me?

There’s only one way to find out…

Try them all!

But you better hurry up—only a few short weeks of summer remain.

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