University of Georgia - June, 2002
HOW TO STAY ACTIVE AND HAVE FUN THIS SUMMER


by Rosalind Swainson
FACS Program Assistant

The longer days and warmer temperatures of summer are inviting you to get out and try something different. This is the perfect time to explore new ventures, step up your level of fitness, and have fun at the same time. Take a break from the treadmill and stationary bike and explore some exciting ways to stay fit this summer.

Georgians, along with the rest of Americans are developing chronic diseases at earlier ages due in large part to the lack of physical activity in our daily lives. Thus, we must make a special effort to become more active at work, at home, and during leisure time.

Have you ever considered a more active vacation? There are opportunities for people of every age and fitness level. Instead of the two-week drive, eat, and sleep routine, try some new ventures.

Walking – Plan weekend walking tours on the trails of state parks. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and comfortable socks and you’re ready to go. For state parks in Georgia, go to www.gastateparks.org or to www.nps to find out how to contact national parks. Plan your vacation around a walking tour. Check out the websites http://walking.about.com/cs/toursamericas or www.wonderwalks.com (877-897-7175) for a guided walk or hike. Find a walking club in your area where you can meet new people and try new routes.

Biking - If you’re a biker, plan a trip around a bike tour. If you prefer flat surfaces, check out the abandoned railroads that have been converted to public trails for both walking and biking. Go to www.railtrails.org (202-331-9696) or www.traillink.com.

Hiking – Hiking clubs are helpful for the beginner and offer trips for any fitness level. To find some great trails to hike in Georgia, check out www.georgiagetaway.com or www.gahikes.com

Adult camps – Who says camps are just for kids? If you want to improve your tennis or golf game, or learn more about backpacking or wilderness survival, check out www.grownupcamps.com for camps for adults for an active vacation. Send the kids to one camp and you and your spouse to another.

Water sports – Get some real excitement along with plenty of physical activity with a canoe, rafting, snorkeling, sea kayak or rafting trip. Check out www.backroads.com (800-462-2848) for information on water sports in addition to walking, hiking, and biking.

Be sure to do some physical conditioning before your trip. If you’re biking, get on your bike and do some training for several weeks before your trip. Take appropriate shoes for walking or hiking and do plenty of walking to get yourself in shape. Find out if you need hiking boots. If you prefer walking shoes, choose trails that are not as rugged.

Plan ahead for an active summer – but have a lot of fun while you’re doing it!

Resource: Cooperative Extension Service