NO matter how dedicated you are to your personal fitness routine, it can be difficult to force yourself through the door of a gym on a gorgeous summer day.
Luckily, with so many diverse and creative ways to exercise outdoors, there's no reason why anyone should sacrifice precious sunshine time for the sake of better health.
This is especially pertinent information given the results of recent scientific studies that confirm many athletes' long-held hunch that outdoor exercise is more psychologically and emotionally uplifting than exercise performed indoors.
Outdoor cardio is a no-brainer, especially on the North Shore with such a great network of trails at Cypress, Grouse and Seymour mountains. Try completing a 20-minute hike to start, and then consider graduating to longer distances. If biking is more your speed, dedicated trails are also available.
Deep Cove has kayak and paddleboard rentals, which are great options for an upper body and core workout.
Outdoor weight training is now becoming more popular than ever. Besides body weight exercises, such as pushups, triceps dips, and chin ups, another great way many people are extending their resistance training into the great outdoors is with sandbags and sandbells.
These are dedicated pieces of cutting-edge, sand-filled exercise equipment that are engineered to withstand incredible pressures and can be used as weights to work essentially any muscle group you can imagine.
If you have a partner, sandbells - which are the smaller version of the two - can be thrown between you as you would with a medicine ball, but with the added challenge of controlling a weight that is not perfectly round.
However you choose to exercise outdoors, summer mornings may be the best time to beat the heat. As always, remember to stay hydrated and wear sun block if your skin will be exposed to UV rays for any prolonged periods.
Above all, have fun out there!
Shaun Karp is a certified personal trainer. For further information, call 604-420-7800 or go to www.karpfitness.com.