Keep Exercise Fun: Take Advantage of Summer

Are we having fun yet? One of the tenets of Go Well PDX is that fitness should be fun. Otherwise, why would you spend your precious time pursuing fitness? If working out is a thankless, joyless chore, my hunch is you won’t do it for long. Unless you are driven by some masochistic tendency, your pursuit of fitness will end at your front door if it doesn’t bring you pleasure, or at the very least a feeling of satisfaction.

Summertime Offers Something for Every Body

The advent of summertime brings with it more daylight, drier weather (for those of us in the Pacific Northwest), and sun-drenched opportunities to pursue the fun in fitness. Now’s the time to heed the call to move beyond your front door. Why not choose to honor your magnificent body with some fitness fun outdoors? Here are several options to consider taking advantage of in summertime when the living is easy.


There are few things that can match a walk in the cool early morning hours of a summer’s day. Depending on when you wake up, morning is a perfect time to get in a half hour of walking around your neighborhood or park of choice. It’s light out. The heat has yet to come. There may be the fragrance of gardens recently watered. Often there is stillness, and all around is a feeling of reprieve mixed with anticipation. On the flipside, an evening stroll after sundown can offer similar pleasures. For more on the benefits of walking, watch this enlightening video by Dr. Mike Evans:

Make Waves

Love the heat but want to stay cool? How many water sports can you think of? From hopping through the sprinkler with your kids to rafting a nearby river, water draws us to move in ways that are mere memories in the depths of winter. It may take some planning ahead, but seek out a nearby body of water where you can swim, surf, raft, paddle board, sail or fish. Or take a hike to dip your toes in the cool waters of a lake or stream. Water is a fun fitness draw: Drink it up.

Tennis, Anyone?

Your own parks and rec dept has come up with something for everyone. With over 250 parks to choose from (the last estimate was 279), you are never far away from a court, hoop, diamond or pitch to get your game on. Portland is especially good at creating classes and opportunities to put the fun in fitness. Check out Portland Parks & Recreation to find a park or activity near you. An alternative could also be to check out the Portland Meetup, an option to locate like-minded peeps into soccer, kickball, softball, hiking, Frisbee… you name it. Don’t see what you want? Create a group. Chances are better than even that if you are wanting to toss some horseshoes there is someone else out there who is game.

Hide the Remote

Binging on your favorite Netflix, Hulu or HBO series makes some sense in the dreary winter months (did someone say House of Cards?), but now’s the season to switch from marathon viewing sessions to sessions in the sun. Summertime and the living is so easy. Bring it on. And Go Well!