Before firing up the grill for Labor Day, don’t forget to fire up your body with a long weekend workout. Even if you’re traveling or spending the day with friends and family, there are plenty of fun ideas for incorporating fitness into the weekend without hitting the gym.
1. Fitness apps
You don’t need a gym or loads of equipment for a workout. If you exercise harder with a trainer motivating you, there are tons of great fitness apps you can use on the go. Try the TRX App for workouts programmed by top trainers, Sweat for 28-minute bodyweight workouts, or Gixo or Train-With for live and on-demand classes from anywhere in the world on a pay-per-class basis. Even better, grab a buddy to join you. Fitness is more fun with friends!
Hitting the beach or a pool for long weekend? Schedule a swim. Swimming fires up more of your body’s major muscle groups than other forms of cardio exercise, according to Time. More than that, it’s fun. Hirofumi Tanaka Tanaka, professor of kinesiology and director of the Cardiovascular Aging Research Lab at the University of Texas, tells the magazine “People tend to enjoy swimming more than running or bike-riding.” Good times, plus feel-good endorphins and cardiovascular perks? Sounds like a winner.
3. Take a hike
Even if you’re not by the water, you can still get your heart pumping with a walk in the woods or around a city. (Yes, urban hikes count, too!) Look for routes featuring changes in elevation. Health.com says that hiking can burn up to 530 calories per hour. Bonus: Research shows as little as five minutes of exercise in a natural environment boosts your mood.
4. Video games
Oof. Stuck in a heat wave? Crank up the air conditioning and burn some calories with a good dance game. Just Dance, Dance Dance Revolution: find what works for you! According to Shape, vigorous aerobic dance can burn approximately 500 calories in an hour, and you might pick up some sweet moves for later.
5. Have a field day
No, that’s not a metaphor. Whether you’re hosting a backyard picnic or gathering at a park, it’s easy to orchestrate a field day. Think of all the fun you had as a kid running the three-legged race and partnering for wheelbarrows in grade school. More than silly games, a field day promotes playful movement. (Yes, you were exercising the whole time you thought you were trying to earn bragging rights for your classroom.)
6. Game on
Multiple events too intense for summer's end? Keep it simple with a single sport. Play touch-football, basketball, volleyball, or even a round of kickball. Enjoy the people around you beyond the standard snacking and drinking that goes along with Labor Day.
Don’t get so blinded by food and travel that you forget to move during the long weekend. Make an effort to engage with your environment and loved ones for a memorable weekend. Your body is Made2Move, and Labor Day is another opportunity to celebrate your health and happiness.