We've all been living through the sweats and the naps, the lying in front of the fan and the UberEats-ing ice cream. Summer isn't kind sometimes, and even the most motivated among us find it easy to come up with excuses to not exercise during the hottest months (e.g., it's a million degrees outside and you'll die = valid). What we've decided is that finding fairly active pursuits to spend your time on counts just as much; as long as your blood is pumping and you're schvitzing a bit, you've ticked the box and can sit down to a nice cold beer(s). Have a go at some of these this summer — your morning jogs are a thing of the past.
Rowboating is A+ for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, upper arm strength, teamwork, enjoying the water and re-enacting scenes from The Notebook or Bridget Jones Diary. It's also very accessible, with boats available to hire all over Melbourne and Sydney, and a nice alternative to land-based activities this summer. Take a picnic in with you and when your arms tire, hang up your oars and drift around eating cheese and sinking a few cold ones. Up north in Brisbane, the waters are more friendly for kayaking, which is also a perfect shenanigan for two — and everyone looks great in a yellow life jacket.
The broadness of this one means you'll be able to tickle your fancy no matter what floats your dancing boat. Dancing is one of the most effective forms of fitness out there, mostly because you're often having so much fun you don't even realise that you're exercising your coordination, strength and flexibility, as well as hiking up your energy levels and mood. Take a salsa class with your significant other, a contemporary class to flail around to Sia like you've always wanted or get yourself into a street dance situation if it's Step Up feels you're after. There are studios around Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane which offer all these choices and more. They say "dance like nobody's watching" and even if there are people watching, it's chill — you're doing a noble thing by being active in the first place.
Circus Fit has been marketed as the new gym class for people who hate gym classes, and as such it's something a little bit different: it's a combo of both strength and flexibility training, with a healthy dose of aerial work thrown in there, too. Just head along and jump on your trapeze (low-hanging, luckily) and after a warm-up, you'll work through a variety of exercises that target core strength and stability — and, you'll have a whole bunch of fun doing it too. Try it at Fitness Playground in Sydney, but in Melbourne and Brisbane, you can head along to a short course in aerials at NICA or Flipside Circus, respectively. If you've ever had that urge in you to run away and join the circus, well, you probably can't because of life responsibilities and the fact that it's hard to touch your toes and all that, but you can feel like it isn't such a distant possibility for 60 minutes during class.
Rock climbing may not seem like the ideal hot weather sport at first — but you can easily avoid the elements by just heading to an (air-conditioned) indoor climbing centre where you can climb to your heart's content and not get overheated or intense sunburn. It's a win/win. Go on a date because rock climbing is the perfect duo activity: one person climbs while the other belays (holds the rope beneath them) so it's all romantic because your date's life is in your hands — nothing says 'second date' more than not letting someone fall off a really high rock wall, right? If you're flying solo or don't quite trust your entire life with that special someone, bouldering is an excellent alternative — no ropes necessary and no extreme heights either. Notoriously good for upper-body and arm strength, a climb up one of the numerous rock climbing centres around the country is definitely a valid option for those wanting to remain active this summer but who turn their noses up at high energy circuit training.
The thing about throwing a Frisbee around is that it's actually very difficult to catch (and often, throw smoothly). A game of Ultimate Frisbee could easily lull you into a false sense of security before you realise your calves are burning and you're sweating up a storm; miles have been run trotting around after that thing as it catches the wrong wind and ends up in someone else's picnic. Before you even notice, you've had a medium to hectic workout and it's time for a bit of a sit-down and a cold brew. Game-wise, the rules of Ultimate Frisbee are simply that you have to pass the Frisbee to a teammate at the opposite end zone of play and that — similarly to netball — you can't step while holding the disc. Pick a nice quiet beach and you can cool off in the water once you're done too (plus running on sand makes for an extra workout).
Where? Collins Flat Beach in Manly, Sydney; Elwood Beach in Elwood, Melbourne; and Flinders Beach on North Stradbroke Island.
Forgo the trip to the gym and get your exercise in a new way, then reward your workout success with a ice cold Hahn, because you deserve it.