Get Moving

Healthy Living Made Simple: Summer Edition

Do you want to start living a healthier lifestyle, but you have no idea how to take that first step through the door?  For many, it can seem daunting trying to figure out where to start. Additionally, just going to the gym without any sort of direction can be incredibly overwhelming.  Like many time-consuming activities, the best way to start an exercise regimen is by easing into it with baby steps.  Here are a few things that you can do to begin living that healthy life.

Did you know that you don’t always need a machine to get a good light workout?  Sometimes all you need is a good surface and some space.  If you do not have the budget, or the time for the gym in the morning, then lay a mat out in your kitchen or living room, and do a few quick and easy exercises in front of your television.  During commercial breaks, do about 10 to 12 reps of squats, crunches, planks, and push ups.  Then, once your body has eased into it, increase it to about 15 reps, then 20.  One you get moving, you won’t want to stop.  Just make sure you have water with you at all times!

Another helpful tip is to be conscious of the decisions you make in the morning.  When you go to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator.  If you’re in too much of a rush for a full breakfast, reach for a granola bar or a piece of fruit rather than that leftover donut.  Put almond milk in your coffee instead of dairy creamer.  When you start your day with a healthy choice, it can create a domino effect that inspires you to continue to make healthy decisions throughout the day. Eventually, one day of healthy choices will lead to a week of healthy choices, and soon enough, it will become a routine.  

Get moving – Kayaking: In the summertime, it is so important to take advantage of the outdoors.  Living in New York, we are lucky enough to be near many different bodies of water, such as the Hudson River, the Finger Lakes, and of course, the beautiful Atlantic ocean.  Swimming has always been a popular activity among the public, and there is nothing quite like a beach day with your friends or family.  If you’re looking for something a little less social, and more substantial to your workout routine, then you may just want to look into kayaking.  

Kayaking is an excellent activity in the summer that involves using your upper body to paddle your craft through a body of water.  It is relaxing, low-stress, and an excellent workout for your arms, chest, back, and shoulders.  Not to be confused with a canoe, a Kayak is an enclosed boat that involves using a double-bladed paddle rather than a single-bladed one.  Most Kayaks have room for two people, but it is almost always the case that only one person does the paddling.

If you want the full workout benefits of kayaking, try to aim for about 500 strokes per mile.  Start out nice and slow, pushing your paddle as far as it can go.  Make sure your back is straight, and that you are sitting upright.  Kayak’s are narrow, so if you do not have proper balance, your vessel may tip over, and send you underwater.  You also have to make sure that you are holding your paddle properly.  One of the sides of the paddle is more concave than the other, so make sure that that side is facing you.  Finally, have a desired destination.  It can be as simple as the other side of the body of water you’re in.  If you are feeling a bit more daring, go a little further.  You may just discover something new.

If you live in New York, then you are in luck because there are a number of places that offer lessons and tours in Kayaking, such as at the Hudson River Park, Van Cortlandt Park, and Pier 40.  A lot of these places offer their services for free too, so there is no excuse to not try this fun sport while the summer is still in session!