Fun Ways to Stay Active This Summer (No Gym Required)
Summer is officially here, you guys! With the weather getting warmer, the days getting longer and the parks and natural landscapes around Toronto becoming greener and more vibrant, this is truly the perfect time to find creative ways to stay active in the city. I mean really, why work out in a stuffy gym when there are SO many ways to take advantage of the great outdoors and make the entire world your playground?
Being active outdoors has many benefits beyond simply increasing your overall physical fitness. It’s been proven to also reduce stress, improve mental health, boost creativity, improve focus and enhance your overall mood, among many others.
That’s why I’ve put together a list of 15 fun ways to stay active this summer in Toronto. Try your favourites, or even try them all - summer has just begun!
1. Go For A Walk In The Park - From High Park to Trinity Bellwoods to the Toronto Music Garden, there are a TON of amazing and unique parks in and around Toronto for you to visit this summer. Take a walk through some of your favourite park trails, enjoy the natural landscapes all around you, and let the good times roll. (Or, shall I say “stroll?”)
2. Take An Outdoor Bootcamp - If you’re looking to try a more intense, sweat-inducing workout, an outdoor bootcamp might be the right fit for you! These types of classes have become increasingly popular over the last few years and are so much fun to do with a group - or even going it solo. Not only will you meet tons of like-minded people, but you’ll also be powering through one of the best workouts of your life!
3. Go For A Bike Ride - Toronto is literally chock-full of beautiful bike trails and hidden gems for you to blaze this summer. From the Martin Goodman Trail to the seemingly-endless Humber Valley Trails that snake up and around the Humber River, you could spend hours exploring the ins and outs of Toronto from a completely new perspective and STILL get a kick-ass workout in.
4. Take Your At-Home Workout Outside - This is one of my favourite ways to get active outdoors! Bring your own yoga mat & get your sweat on by following some of your favourite Instagrammers or YouTubers through a fun bodyweight circuit in your backyard or in the park. There are so many core-blasting, booty-burning and HIIT workouts you can do absolutely ANYWHERE with no equipment necessary. Heck, you could even create your own! So, why not take it outdoors and enjoy the weather while you’re doing it?
5. Try An Outdoor Yoga Class - Yoga In The Park is an actual thing, you guys. (And it’s getting more and more popular here in Toronto!) You can find a list of yoga studios that offer outdoor classes by simply doing a quick Google search, checking event-hosting websites such as Eventbrite, or even by stopping in and asking one of your fave studios. You’re gonna want to Nama-stay outdoors a little longer for this one!
6. Join A League - If you love a little bit of fun, healthy competition, joining a league is definitely for you! Whether it’s soccer, rugby, baseball, or any other group sport, there are countless community leagues and teams around Toronto that you can join. Joining a league is great because it not only holds you accountable to get to practice each week, but you can also reap the benefits of all your hard work as you watch yourself improve at each game. Go get ‘em!
7. Go Swimming - Who doesn’t love to go swimming in the summertime? Not only is it refreshing, but swimming is also such a great form of cardio. It’s low-impact (so it doesn’t hurt your joints), but it still provides much more resistance than running (so it actually helps to build muscle too!). Put on your favourite swimsuit, visit your local community center, or find a friend who has a pool and make a splash!
8. Go Canoeing or Kayaking - Canoeing & kayaking are two of the absolute BEST upper body cardio workouts you could get in the great outdoors. Two places around Toronto where you can rent canoes or kayaks are the Harbourfront (by the lakeshore) or along the Humber River, near the Old Mill. Grab a friend, make a day out of it, and enjoy one of the most scenic trips down the Humber River you’ll ever experience!
9. Head To The Beach - Whether it’s Cherry Beach, Woodbine Beach or even one of the many beaches outside of Toronto (Wasaga Beach, Sauble Beach, Sandbanks, etc), there are SO many ways to stay active at the beach. Whether you’re playing volleyball with a group or running to some mood-boosting music alongside the waves, the options are absolutely endless!
10. Try A Class Sampler - Summertime is the perfect time to try something new! If you’re not sure what types of workouts you THRIVE in the most, I’d suggest signing up for something like ClassPass. You’ll be able to try a ton of different fitness classes - like yoga, strength training, barre, martial arts, pilates, and boxing - all for a flat monthly rate. Grab your girlfriends and make an event out of it!
11. Visit A Dog Park - Now this idea will only work if you either like dogs, or have one. But, I mean, who doesn’t love dogs!? Dogs are the perfect companions when you’re trying to live a healthy and active lifestyle. They’re just bursting with energy! Take your dog to a dog park and toss a frisbee around, play tag or just let your inner animal out.
12. Go For A Hike - With a TON of incredible hiking trails not far from Toronto - including Dundas Peak, Albion Hills or even Scarborough Bluffs - going for a scenic hike is one of the best ways to take a day trip out of the city and still get a good sweat in. You can even pack a healthy picnic lunch to enjoy once you make it to the top!
13. Go On A Fitness Retreat - Why be active outdoors for a day when you can travel and make a week out of it!? Going on a fitness retreat has so many benefits! It not only allows you to meet new people and see a different part of the world, but it also helps you to improve your craft - whether it’s in yoga, strength training, or even boot camps. A definite must-try for the avid fitness lover!
14. Play In An Outdoor Sports Court - Want to get the benefits of playing sports without having to join a league? Why not take advantage of outdoor public sports courts? Take Trinity Bellwoods, for example - they offer three baseball diamonds, eight tennis courts, and two volleyball courts. Grab a group, set up your own teams and let the games begin!
15. Rediscover Your Inner Child – Whether you have kids of your own, or you’re simply just re-discovering your inner child, take yourself to the playground! Remember all those games you used to play when you were a child? Play a game of hopscotch, tag, or even just swing on the swingset. Let your inner child out!