The novelist Harry Leon Wilson famously said this about golf:
“This new game of golf that the summer folks play seems to have too much walking for a good game and just enough game to spoil a good walk.”
And yes, golf has somehow acquired this fuddy duddy reputation for being a sport that’s reserved for the old and the retired. Yet golf is actually a great way to stay fit and healthy over the summer and is more of a workout than you might first realise. The average golfer can walk between four to eight miles over an 18 hole course. Add into that the upper body workout and indeed the core workout from swinging a golf club and you’re looking at an all over body workout.
Most clubs work on a membership basis, so if you’re just starting out it’s advisable to either look around for a free trial somewhere or to book a few sessions at the driving range so you can find out if golf is the sport for you. And there’s no need to invest in a set of clubs just yet as most places will hire these out to you, as well as golf balls and tees if you need them. All you really need to get started is some comfortable clothing and trainers, a glove so that your hand doesn’t end up getting blistered, and a sun hat and shades to protect you from the sun. Of course, once you’ve mastered the basics and you’re ready to join a club you’ll no doubt want to look the part, which means kitting yourself out in some Puma Golf designer wear to show you really do know your birdie from your bogey!
Surfing just screams summer doesn’t it? It’s the sexy sport, the one you wish you could do, the one you’ve always wanted to learn, but fear of ending up looking more beached whale than bronzed beach bum surfer dude is enough to put you off even trying. But don’t let that stop you, everyone’s got to start somewhere and now is the time!
There are lots of great surfing spots around the UK and many of these will have surf clubs that offer lessons to beginners to help increase confidence in the water and to learn the basics of standing on a board. Don’t be put off by the fact that at first you will probably be spending a lot of your time balancing and holding position on a board on the beach rather than rushing straight down to the waters edge. Surfing involves a great deal of core strength and balance and so mastering the basics is essential for fast progression later on.
If you’re worried about trying it on your own why not make it a family thing or invite a group of friends to go with you. It’s a fantastic activity to book up when you go on holiday and if the weather is super scorchio what better way to cool off than taking a dip in the ocean and exercising at the same time.
Paddleboarding has become the ‘in’ thing to try and classes have cropped up all over the country. It basically involves a board very much like a surfboard but rather than riding the waves you paddle along on it.
There are three different ways to paddleboard:
- By lying stomach facing down on the board and using your hands to paddle yourself along.
- By kneeling on the board and using a paddle.
- And then there is the more advance ‘stand up’ paddle boarding which, as the name suggests, involves standing on the board and using a long paddle to move it across the water.
Stand up paddleboarding, or SUP as it has become more commonly known, is the most difficult to learn but has also become the most popular option of the three. This is no doubt because it offers more workout potential and is especially good for the core, something all of us strive to improve upon.
Like surfing, it too has this rather sexy image attached to it, and is a fab way to get fit in the summer while enjoying spending time in the water and catching a tan at the same time.
OK so I’m a bit biased with this one being a runner myself, but trust me there’s nothing better than heading out for a run in the summertime. Glorious countryside, the warmth of the sun on your back, a gentle breeze helping to cool you down, and… sweat. Because yes that’s one thing you can’t escape when you run in the summer, sweat.
However to help beat the sweat, as well as making things slightly easier and to help make the experience that much more pleasant I strongly suggest you take advantage of the light mornings and evenings by either heading out early doors (my personal preference because there’s usually less people around and watching the sun come up is the perfect start to the day) or ending the day on a high when the temperatures have cooled down.
If you don’t fancy heading out on your own you could always join a running group, which from my own experience usually involves a post run discussion in a pub garden somewhere afterwards – come on there’s got to be some perks to this running lark! Or if you need some wind down alone time after a stressful day at work, donning your trainers and running to your fave tunes is the perfect activity.
There are lots of different sports and activities you can try this summer and these are just a few of them. Let us know how you prefer to work out when it gets hot and what sports you plan on trying out for the first time.