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Find ways to stay active

It can be a challenge to keep up a healthy lifestyle during the summer months

Some lazy afternoons it's hard to pick yourself up off the lawn chair, and other days it's difficult to find the time between entertaining the kids and keeping up with work and chores.

Here are some tips to help you stay on track this summer. Try a new activity.

The key to staying motivated it to keep it entertaining. Try something new that you've always thought looked fun. Hit up a local pool, lake or beach and go for a swim, or try roller blading in a public park.

Never tried kayaking? It's not too late! Why not make this summer the one where you discover a new favourite active hobby?

Exercise one major muscle group each day.

Don't think you have to do a full-body workout every day. That can seem overwhelming and make it even more difficult for you to stay motivated. Instead concentrate on one major muscle group each day, like your legs, chest, back, core, arms or shoulders. To get the most benefit you should still do 20 to 30 minutes of cardio daily, but you can make it fun! Go for a jog and watch the sun rise or set, take your bike somewhere you've never been before, or try skipping rope and see if it makes you feel like a kid again.

Stay hydrated.

When the weather is warm, it's important to keep your body cool. Dehydration leads to fatigue, and in extreme cases heat exhaustion or heat stroke. It's also best to drink water on a schedule during the summer months - that means before you even feel like you need it. If your body is telling you you're thirsty, that means you're already dehydrated.

Exercise in the morning.

If you find you talk yourself out of exercising as the day progresses, do it first thing in the morning. Later on in the day it's too easy to make excuses - you don't

have the time between picking the kids up from swimming practice and making dinner, or you're just so comfortable relaxing on the deck soaking up some vitamin D. By getting it out of the way early, you don't have to worry about distractions later in the day.

Get the children involved in a family game.

If it's commitments with the kids throwing you off track, get them involved.

Engage in a family game of tag, or see who can do the most laps at a local pool.

You could also toss a Frisbee around the backyard, learn to play tennis together, or find an empty net at the beach and get the whole family playing a game of beach volleyball.

Shaun Karp is a certified personal trainer. For further information call 604-420-7800 or go to