Summer's golden rules for exercise

*This piece was originally written for The Summerset Scene magazine - Summer 2020

In the summer months, the wide range of different sports and outdoor activities on offer means there are plenty of options for getting moving – and there’s nothing like a warm, sunny day to boost the feel-good factor.

These key tips will help you ease into your chosen activity and get the most out of what you choose.

Start slowly and progress gently

If you’re playing golf, tennis or any sport you haven’t participated in for a while, give your body time to learn how to move in the angles and different speeds that are required.

Get your feet on the ground

Some call it ‘grounding’ or ‘earthing’, while others call it being a ‘barefoot bandit’, but whatever you call it, it just means not wearing shoes! Sinking your feet into beach sand and spreading your toes in grass are great ways to reconnect with nature. While it might sound a bit hippy, it’s an effective trick to reduce stress and boost your mood.

Ditch the couch after meals

Following a meal, it can be tempting to sit down and allow it to digest. However, taking a small, gentle walk after eating is often a more effective way to help food break down, and it can also lead to a better uptake of nutrients.

Get advice from a pro

If you’re learning a new skill or picking up an old one, a few one-on-one or group lessons can radically accelerate your progress. If it can be learned, there is a coach for it somewhere.

Head somewhere new

Lastly, given that we’re all going to be spending our summer in Aotearoa, I’ll leave you with this:

Go somewhere you’ve never been,
To see something you’ve never seen,
Look around your own backyard (New Zealand) – There is always plenty of green.