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5 fun ways to take your workout into the outdoors

Guest Column by Kathy Johnson

Kathy Johnson is the creative director for Albert Lea magazine and the Albert Lea Tribune. During her spare time she is a group fitness instructor at the Albert LeaFamily Y.

Kathy Johnson

Kathy Johnson

Summertime brings so many  options for working out and getting in shape outdoors. With all the beautiful trails and lakes in Albert Lea and the surrounding area, it is easy to make working out fun and carefree.

1. Run, walk, rollerblade or just walk around Fountain Lake on a beautiful summer day. The time flies by and you won’t even think that you are getting fit in the process of enjoying the weather. This is also a great way to spend time with friends or family and hold each other accountable for finding time for fitness. Try this one to two times per week.

2. Ride your bike. Riding a bike is a fun way to burn tons of calories without feeling like you are working out too hard. Again, with this grab a friend and ride at least three times a week. Ride on different terrains such as hills, to develop leg strength quicker.

3. Go for a swim. Swimming is a wonderful way to stay cool and to get into shape. Try swimming a few laps at one of the pools. Build your endurance up by swimming laps two to three times a week, increasing the amount of laps you swim each time. The stronger your core, the stronger your swim will be.Try and do some planks or crunches a couple times a week to compliment your swim. Swimming is a great way to have fun and enjoy the outdoors.

4. Go kayaking or paddle boarding. Take a kayak or paddle board out on Fountain Lake or any other area lake and spend the afternoon paddling around the lake with friends. This is a good activity to work on your core and upper body strength. Have your kids join you by getting a two-person kayak and enjoy your bonding time. If you don’t own a kayak or paddle board, you can always rent them reasonably from Albert Lea Community Education, the rental station at Frank Hall Park or from almost any state park. This is the perfect exercise on a hot summer day!

5. Play on a playground. This seems like a silly way to get in shape, but it is so much fun. Your kids can get in on it as well. Go up the stairs, down the slide or balance on a balance beam if the park has one. Get creative and enjoy the time being active and playing with your kids. Use the playground equipment as fitness tools, lay under the swings and do pull-ups. Try doing push-ups on a park bench while your kids are playing.

Your options are endless at any park.

Whatever you choose to do this summer to stay fit, have fun with it and try and have your kids join in on the fun.

Remember to bring water with you for all of these activities. It can get hot in these Minnesota summer months.