49 Fun Activities to Get You Moving This Summer
By Trudi Purdy, wlr team
The key to getting more active is finding activites that you enjoy. Our A-Z guide has 49 ideas to get you, and your friends and family, out and active this summer.
We hope you like them and have fun trying a few!
Similar to paint balling, this activity gets the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing. Players use BBs instead of paint balls in the airsoft guns and is not as painful as being hit with a paintball can be. Players are placed in mock combat situations – but a few places round the country are ramping that up and using other types of scenarios to shake things up a bit.
If you’re going on holiday and the hotel has a pool, you can almost guarantee they will put on an aqua aerobics class during their program of activities. So why not give it a go, you’ll be surprised at how much fun it is.
What a great way to exercise in the summer sun and still stay cool!
What could be better than taking a stroll along a beach on a beautiful sunny afternoon to see what you can find? Even better for getting fit if there are a few rocks to explore!
Go for a bike ride with lots of lovely, healthy picnic food to a picnic spot. If you haven’t got a bike, rent one. Pick a destination, pack a picnic and get on yer bike!
This is normally an organised event but great fun for the players and spectators alike. Basically, it’s like normal football only you are all wearing a zorb with your head poking out of the top and your legs free at the bottom. The ball to kick is larger than normal and the rules are the same as usual football rules. It’s not as easy as it sounds and is hilarious to watch! Turtles on their backs come to mind!
Activity for both mind and body as you need quick reflexes and good judgement as you try to read your mark's next move. Just don’t let the kids (including fully-grown ones) play near the barbeque – it can and will end in disaster!
For great info and game ideas try www.ehow.com
C – Clubbercise
If you are a child of the 90s and your nights were spent with glow sticks in your hands, or you just love dancing to 90s classics, this is definitely for you! Regardless of your fitness level, you can take part in this fun class. It involves simple, fun dance fitness routines using glow sticks to club anthems from 90′s classics to the latest chart hits taught in a darkened room with disco lights. So dust off your glow sticks, find a class near you and throw some shapes!
There is nothing better than meeting some friends at a coffee house and having a catch up. But who says you have to just sit there with your coffee? Why not get it to take away and get some steps in while you catch up?
Cricket has seen a bit of a revival in the UK since we won the Ashes in 2005, and is a great summer activity to take with you on days out with friends and family.
Cheap cricket set are available from supermarkets and the likes of Argos - then all you need is a patch of grass.
D – Dodgeball
One of my PE teacher's favourite gym activities, and although you don’t need silly uniforms as modelled by Ben Stiler and co. in the movie, it may well help put your opponents off!
For rules and information visit the National Amateur Dodgeball Association (yes, there really is one).
The summer sees a plethora of car boot sales springing up. Why not have a declutter at home and sell your unwanted treasures? The declutter will get you moving, especially if you have stuff stashed in the loft, and while you are at the car boot, take a look around yourself. Just don’t take any cash with you, otherwise you may end up taking back more than you cleared out!
E – Equestrianism
Whether riding a horse on a pony trek at the beach or in a show, horse riding is great for your posture and core muscles.
Riding a horse for the first time is something you’ll never forget, a well worth experience if you get the chance this summer.
F – Frisbee
Grab a couple of friends and a Frisbee, head out to an open space somewhere and play Frisbee. No friends available? Borrow the neighbour’s dog! The dog will have a great time, you’ll be out and about and the neighbours will love you.
If you don’t fancy standing in a circle, catching and throwing a Frisbee between you, why not give Frisbee golf a try? You’ll need some friends with a Frisbee each and a space that has trees or lampposts etc. At the starting point, chose an object reasonably close. The first person to play aims the Frisbee at it and throws. If they hit the object first time, they get one point. For every throw they take to hit it they get a point. When they have hit the object, the next person has a go and does the same. Once everyone has had a go, choose the next object, rinse and repeat! Keep going as long as you like. The person with the least points at the end is the winner!
Find a local Pick Your Own fruit farm and spend an afternoon picking some yummy fruits for tea. Helps you to get some of your five a day as well as getting you bending and walking!
Don’t just watch it on the telly, get out there with your mates, partners, neighbours and kids, and actually play! It’s inexpensive, great fun and easy to play with people of all abilities.
For the off side rule visit FIFA
G – Geocaching
There be treasure! This is basically a real world treasure hunt using GPS. All over the world, people have hidden different things in containers (a geocache) for other people to find. Using GPS you hunt for the geocache to find whatever has been hidden. To find out where the geocaches are hidden, sign up at a site like https://www.geocaching.com/play, walk to the co-ordinates and then search the area for the geocache. Once you find the geocache, you are allowed to take something from it but you must replace it with something of a similar or greater value. You can log your find at the site previously mentioned with photos if you fancy it and you can hide a geocache for other people to find too!
18 Holes, Pitch & Putt or Crazy Golf, they all get you walking as well as perfecting your hand and eye co-ordination. Plus how to play is easy (it’s just the technique that needs perfecting). To find a golf course near you try www.uk-golf.com
H – Hiking
Hiking is walking, not in a town or city, but out in the wilderness, up mountains, round lakes, through forests, pretty much anywhere there isn’t tarmac. Hiking is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of our surroundings and native wildlife, and it’s free making it a top summer activity and ideal for a day away.
To locate a trail near you visit www.go4awalk.com
I – Ice Skating
Not normally considered summer sports, we know, but ice rinks often extend their opening times, put on extra sessions or summer schools for these sports during the summer holidays. What better way to cool off when it’s too hot!
J – Jogging
All you need to jog is a good pair of trainers. You can jog alone, with the dog, with a friend or even the kids (tell them all the celebrities do it so it is cool) and because it’s jogging (not running) you can do it with people of all fitness levels and no one gets left behind.
Tip: The best times to go jogging tend to be early morning and evening when it is cool. Jogging near lakes and rivers is also lovely as you get a refreshing breeze off of the water.
K – Kite Flying
Even if there is only a little bit of wind, make like Mary Poppins and go fly a kite! There is something quite satisfying about getting a beautiful kite airborne and gliding like a bird. You could even make your own – there are loads of tutorials on YouTube and on the internet!
Kayaking or Canoeing is an activity that can be as active and adrenaline filled, or as relaxing as you like, and so is suitable for all that don’t mind getting a bit wet now and then. However whether coastal or inland waters take your fancy always get started with some professional help, and if you are not experienced get a guide to take you.
For those not lucky enough to live near a water sports centre, this is one of those summer activities worth going out of your way for. To find events and locations see www.bcu.org.uk
L – Laser Quest / Laser Tag
For big kids as well as actual ones, Laser Quest is tag using laser guns to zap your opponents. A game usually lasts around 20 minutes for up to 20 players, at a cost of around £4-5, however it’s worth asking about discounts for block or group bookings as you’ll almost always get a better deal.
M – Meditation
Harmonise your body and mind and take some time out to meditate. 20 minutes of meditating a day can improve your health. It helps lower blood pressure, can amp up your immune system and improve your ability to concentrate. Find somewhere outside, that is peaceful and quiet and take some time to meditate.
Did you know that half an hour mowing the lawn will burn over 200 calories! So make sure you mow the lawn before the BBQ and earn yourself an extra hot dog.
N – Nature Bingo
Nature bingo is a great way to get out about while at home or on holiday. Create a bingo card with things like ‘Find a Red Leaf’ or ‘Discover a Mushroom’ or ‘Discover an Animal Footprint’ in each square. Players have to mark each thing off and the winner is the person who manages to mark off each box. You could even offer a prize to the winner! There are some sites on the internet that you can download free ready-made bingo cards and others where you can buy them.
Another of our relatively free activities, you just need a ball and a court with a hoop (or two).
For positions and rules visit www.england-netball.co.uk
O – Obstacle Course Races
A fun thing to do with or without kids! Create your own obstacle course with things in the garden or even in your living room, if you have space. You could do this over a few days and see if you can decrease your time to get to your personal best!
A timed activity where participants use a map and compass to visit (in sequence) checkpoints marked on their map. Competitors start at intervals to ensure each finds their own way to the checkpoints, as this is a sport of skill and endurance as well as speed.
For info on events and clubs visit www.britishorienteering.org.uk
P – Penny Walking
Bored of the same old route each time you go walking? Take a penny with you and at each junction flip the coin. Heads is left, tails is right – see where the penny takes you!
Fancy a bit of Park Life? Thousands of free events are organised weekly across the country to help encourage people to get up and get moving. The events are on Saturdays and Sundays and are held at a local park, beach or promenade. There is normally a 2km or a 5km to choose from but you need to register online before you attend. Go to http://www.parkrun.org.uk/. Then you can confirm completion and track your runs. People at all fitness levels attend and the atmosphere is usually one of encouragement and motivation. The founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt said that it was originally meant to be a one off event but has blossomed from there. He said, ‘No-one should ever have to pay to go running in their community regularly, safely and for fun.’
Okay so this received some negative press when it first became popular but, the whole idea of the game is to walk around in your area and find PokeStuff so, surely, it’s still a good idea? The strap line for it was ‘Get Up and Go!’ You have to be sensible and safe, of course, but download the app and give it a try! You may discover landmarks in your area that you didn’t know were there as they could be PokeStops or PokeGyms that you have to visit to get more Poké Balls and eggs. Once you find an egg, you have to incubate it to hatch it and that involves a 5k walk! You don’t have to do that all in one go. Just depends how impatient you are! A modern take on Geocaching?
There’s nothing quite like being punted along a river, relaxing and watching the world go by. But instead of just laying there, why not take over the actual punting? A great workout and brilliant fun! Just be careful not to leave the pole behind!
What better excuse do you need to go to a beach? Need more persuading? It’s free, no equipment, special clothes or planning is required, and everyone can paddle.
To locate your nearest blue flag beach check out the Keep Britain Tidy website.
Q – Quidditch
Ok, maybe we’re pushing it with this one – but can you think of any summer activities beginning with Q?!
R – Rock Climbing
If you are lucky enough to live near some rocky ground then head out and give rock climbing a try. If not, check out your local climbing wall. This will get your heart rate going as well as building strength and getting you moving.
Another school favourite, and in fact a very old game dating back to the seventeenth century, and unlike the chicken and the egg question we can definitely say Rounders came before Baseball.
S – Star Gazing
Take a late night walk out to somewhere without too much light pollution. (For safety reasons, try and go with someone.) If you’re in the middle of a city, drive out, park up and walk for a while to find the perfect spot. Gaze up into the sky and see what you can see. There are loads of good apps that will help you identify which object is which and don’t forget to wish on those shooting stars!
A real family favourite with young and old alike - sure to bring out the competitive spirit!
Backstroke, Breast Stroke, Butterfly, Freestyle and even Doggy Paddle, in indoor pools, outdoor pools, rivers or in the sea. Wherever and however you choose to swim you’ll be getting a full body workout, raising your heart rate and toning your muscles, making swimming the best physical summer activity in our alphabet.
T – Tennis
Seeing as we haven’t had a British Wimbledon champion for some time now, I think it is our duty to get on the tennis court and give it a go. Not sure where to stand or what the rules are, that’s no excuse, take a look at the fitness benefits of playing tennis for fun.
U – Ultimate
Ultimate or Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact sport played with a... Frisbee. The aim of the game is to get the Frisbee into your opponents’ end zone much like in American Football, you have 7 players on each team, it is non-contact and you can’t run with the Frisbee.
There are two sets of rules with minor differences, the North American rules can be found at www.usaultimate.org, whilst other parts of the world tend to use the World Flying Disc Federation rules found at www.wfdf.org
V – Volleyball
Playing Volleyball is the number two summer activity after swimming, as it will give you a fantastic workout. It’s also a lot cheaper than you might think, with a net costing as little as £14! Put it up in your garden, playing field or on the beach, it's even easy to roll up and put away or take away on holiday.
If you want more information or to get competitive visit the Spikeopaths Volleyball team site, they’re a funny bunch!
W – Water Fight
You don’t even need fancy water pistols for this (although the pump action ones are quite good fun!). Empty water bottles that have the nozzle will do just fine. Find a friend or two, fill up your water bottles and get ready to rumble!
Some of the best summer activities are free and easy, and walking certainly falls into that category. Did you know you should try to take 10,000 steps a day? That’s roughly 5 miles, most of which you’ll walk without even noticing, so why not go for a walk, rediscover pathways you took before you could drive and clock up those miles.
X – Xare
Bit of an unusual activity for summer is Xare. For this game you need to wear a helmet as it is a racquet sport played with a rather hard ball, played on an indoor court called a Trinquete, much like a tennis court. Due to the loosely strung nature of the racquet the ball is neither caught nor struck to return it to the player, more of a lob like in lacrosse one presumes.
Y – Yoga
If next-door's kids are driving you mad this summer, try a bit of yoga to de-stress. Although having an exercise mat is ideal to do yoga on, a soft space on the ground can sometimes do just as well and sometimes just being out in the summer sun is enough to improve your mood.
Z – Zorbing
You know those hamster balls that you put your hamster in and let it roll around the living room? Well zorbing is basically a bigger version of that ball, big enough to put you in and then roll you down a hill! Some Zorbs have straps in, others are strapless and can have water put in them so your experience is more like a tumbling water shoot!
Zorbing may have started in New Zealand, but it is catching on fast and has spread to Europe, Argentina and even China. And oh yes, you can do it all over the UK too!
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