Take Your Fitness Routine Outdoors This Summer
With both the chill of winter and rainy days of spring behind us, the summer promises abundant sunshine and the opportunity to spend a lot of time outside. Many people take advantage of the summer months to do more activities outdoors—you can dine al fresco, watch open-air concerts and musical performances and enjoy theater in the park. So why shouldn’t you be able to move your fitness routine outside as well?
With 96 acres of land, The Hill offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the bounty of nature—from quiet outdoor gardens, to nature trails throughout the property and the surrounding area. The warm weather is a great excuse to move your gym routine outside, and Andrew Siebert, the Community Wellness Manager for The Hill at Whitemarsh, notes that there are ample benefits, both physical and mental.
“Getting outdoors is a great way to relax and take peace from the natural beauty that surrounds us,” says Andrew. “Recent research suggests that spending time in blue and green outdoor spaces has the potential to improve health and well-being while increasing feelings of connectedness and renewal. The Hill has something for everyone; for those who want low-intensity exercise, the walking group is ideal. If you prefer something more intense, you can join the outdoor tennis group. However you decide to enjoy nature, The Hill is here to support you.”
Here are a few ways to stay active this summer while also enjoying the outdoors:
Walking Your Dog
While it may not seem like much of an exercise, walking your dog is actually a great way to get some low-intensity cardio while also enjoying the fresh air. Residents living at The Hill with their dogs are able to not only take advantage of the beautiful grounds that surround their homes, but also have access to a variety of walking trails through the woods around the property.
Taking your yoga practice outside is a wonderful perk of the warmer weather. Some yoga instructors will offer outdoor classes in the park, although you don’t need to join a class in order to enjoy outdoor yoga. All you need is a yoga mat and a quiet place on the grass to practice. And the best part is that you don’t even need to bring your own music—the birds and leaves rustling in the wind make for an excellent soundtrack!
Tennis or Golf
Tennis and golf are incredibly popular warm weather activities that allow you to get some exercise while also spending time outdoors. With its proximity to golf courses and country clubs, The Hill naturally lends itself to resident-organized groups who play tennis and golf on a regular basis. In addition to physical fitness, these outdoor groups also provide you with wonderful social opportunities to catch up with friends and meet new ones in the process.
Like walking your dog, gardening is also a hidden exercise in that doing it doesn’t actually feel like exercise at all. “Our residents enjoy tending to their personal gardens or our very own healing garden,” says Andrew. “In addition to the physical benefits, the smells, colors and textures of each plant can help to melt your stress away.” Studies have shown that you can burn over 200 calories for each hour you spend in your garden, and it serves as a natural stress reliever.
Hikes & Trail Walks
We’re lucky to live in a part of the world that has been blessed with abundant nature in such close proximity to the city. Wissahickon Valley Park is a short drive from The Hill and provides you with a variety of options when it comes to hiking and walking trails. In addition to the physical activity, Andrew recommends further connecting to the outdoors with a mindfulness meditation session in the wild. “It’s a wonderful way to sync up body and mind.”
Swimming has been proven to be one of the best heart-healthy exercises you can participate in, as it improves your cardiovascular ability and endurance. It is also a wonderful exercise for older adults, as it’s easy on the joints and helps to lower blood pressure and even battle osteoporosis. The Hill has an indoor pool that allows this summer-approved activity to happen year round, but will be bringing an outdoor pool to the community with the Hawk Ridge expansion.
No matter how you choose to get your fitness in this summer, finding ways to stay active can help you improve your health for body, mind and soul and also boost your overall quality of life.