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summertime water based activitiesIf you’re looking either to enjoy the hot summer temps or simply change your exercise routine, now is a great time for fun water based activities. Being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, enjoying the water – whether you’re in it or simply on it – is a must-do during this season. Check out what’s available at a nearby lake, river, ocean or pool, or consult the water-sport fans in your circle. Note that for safety, it is recommended that you wear a life jacket and go with a partner or group, versus heading out alone.

Here are some terrific water based activities to get you started. Some are more intense and can function as legitimate workouts, while others are mostly recreational. Try what appeals to you the most.

Summertime Water Based Activities

  1. Canoeing and kayaking – Look for a place where you can rent equipment. You can choose to have your own boat (while your partner has his/her own), or share the workload and paddle together in one boat. Integrate intervals of speedwork to challenge your body, or enjoy a more leisurely pace. Make sure you know the area or carry a map so you don’t get lost.
  2. Stand-up paddle boarding – This fast-growing activity is like a combination of surfing and kayaking, without all the raging waves. The total-body workout, which originated in Hawaii, is performed on calm water with what looks like a surfboard and a paddle that looks like an oar. Because standing up and moving through the water are a lot harder than they look, it’s smart to take a lesson or two to learn proper technique and not feel defeated. Also note that the U.S. Coast Guard requires that paddle boarders have a life jacket or other personal flotation device with them.
  3. Water skiing – Here, you need to have access to a boat and skis, obviously, but this can be a blast (and great for your core and all your muscles) if you can get up and stay up while slicing through the water. Lessons are valuable before your first time, as it will be tough to hear your crew shouting instructions once the boat is moving.
  4. Jet skiing – You may have to try this while on vacation, but it’s a thrill to ride what amounts to a motorcycle across the water. Most places that rent jet skis require that you first take a training course for safety. It’s definitely worth the cost and effort to experience at least once.
  5. Rafting – Rafting and white-water rafting are not solo sports, so you’ll need a partner or a team to help you navigate rivers with calm water or rapids, with various levels of maneuvering and potential drops. For safety, go with a commercial rafting company on your first time out.
  6. Tubing –- Riding atop an inner tube while being towed by a motor boat is quite exhilarating, as you absorb lots of water spray and may even go airborne while taking on the waves or the wake from the watercraft.
  7. Aqua fitness classes – OK, maybe not as adrenaline-pumping as some other options, aqua group ex has come a long way and might surprise you. Try a class at your local gym or rec center, or at a vacation resort. It’s not just bouncing around in the water anymore. These days, you can participate in aqua cycling (Spinning in the water), Aqua Zumba, barre, yoga and Pilates in the water and intense boot camps that use a floating fitness mat. And because of buoyancy, you can work hard without pounding on your joints; plus, the water keeps you cool.