10 Low-Impact Activities for Fun-In-The-Sun

Woman have fun on a kayak

Summer is officially here! Are you ready to have some fun?

Of course you are! There’s no need to limit yourself, even if you’re living with nerve pain. The following activities are designed to help increase strength and flexibility, and improve your overall health.

Cycling

It’s time to put some pedal to the metal with an exhilarating session of cycling. Whether you’re on a stationary bike or cycling outdoors, this low-impact activity easily builds muscle, while reducing pressure on your joints. Just a few minutes of cycling can help reduce your risk of high blood pressure. It also provides a wonderful opportunity to release endorphins that create feel good moments.

Dancing

No matter your age or level of expertise, dancing is the perfect weight-resistant exercise to burn calories and have fun! Thirty minutes of dancing can burn between 200-400 calories and the best part, there is no right or wrong way to do it. If you have weak knees or nerve pain in the legs, start off slow. You may want to consider ballroom dancing. There’s no time limit to how much fun you can have with your friends or dance partner.

Gardening

Gardening is not your typical form of exercise, but it’s an excellent activity to reduce stress, improve sleep and keep the mind sharp. It might surprise you to know that gardening involves many critical functions, such as problem solving, sensory awareness, strength and endurance. It keeps the hand muscles vigorous and agile. Patients experiencing sensitivity in the hands may want to consider using gloves. Gardening also offers an opportunity to soak up Vitamin D to strengthen your immune system. As a bonus, you will be able to enjoy the natural and fresh produce you grow.

Golf

Imagine increasing your heart rate, stimulating your mind and increasing your longevity with a simple round of golf. It’s possible! You can easily burn up to 1,000 calories in a single game by walking 30-200 acres (depending on the game). Golf is often considered a sport of coordination and strategy; however, it involves plenty of walking, swinging and pivoting to keep your muscles moving.

Hiking

Immerse yourself with the natural beauty of the outdoors and absorb the fresh air. Hiking is another low-impact activity that will reduce pressure on the joints. If you live in the area, feel free to hike with your friends on one of the many beautiful trails in Loma Linda, including Dragon’s Back or Scott Canyon Trail

Kayaking

Take in the sights and soak up the sun with a relaxing kayak ride. Kayaking will strengthen both your upper and lower body, building stronger muscles in the arms and core. You can easily do about 500 strokes a mile and burn up to 400 calories in just one hour of kayaking. Your knees and joints will experience little to no pressure.

Strength Training

If you’re suffering with arthritis, back pain, diabetes or depression, strength training should be an essential part of your daily routine. Stretches and exercises such as push-ups, squats or lunges are designed to improve posture and prevent lower back pain. Strength training is also an excellent activity to enhance your quality of life. For those living with type 2 diabetes, strength training can also help improve glucose levels.

Swimming

Swimming is a summer staple for all ages to cool down, have fun and stay in tip-top shape. It enables individuals to build endurance, keep flexible and burn calories. One hour of lap swimming can burn over 700 calories. It also reduces stress and anxiety. Another interesting thing about swimming is how it helps keep the mind alert and think more efficiently.

Walk Along the Beach

Take in the ocean breeze with a relaxing stroll along the beach. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the next. You can take as much time as you need and walk as far as you desire. 

Did You Know?

It requires 2.1 to 2.7 times more energy to walk on sand as opposed to walking on hard surfaces.

Water Aerobics

Another great stress reliever and enjoyable social activity is water aerobics. You simply can’t go wrong with activities in the pool! Water aerobics classes are available at Drayson Center and increase flexibility, muscle strength and build endurance. Due to the resistance of the water, it’s easy to do cardio and strength training (even just waist or chest high). The best part of all, it’s a painless and stress-free cool down for the summer.

Be sure to drink plenty of water and apply sunblock as needed. You may want to try these activities in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. If at any time you feel faint or lightheaded, please sit down in a shaded area. Your body will tell you how much you can handle.

Please consult your physician before starting any new activity. 

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