I don’t know about you, but when the sun is shining the last thing I want to do is workout in a gym. Running on a treadmill or mindlessly cycling on a bike while the mid-day soaps are on television will undeniably set me back on a binge or on a fitness strike.
On hot summer days like today I crave outdoor fitness routines. They’re so much fun and I hardly feel like I’m working out.
In my search for creative ways to stay in shape I’ve come across these five activities that provide cardio, toning and strengthening while having a blast in our beautiful Florida sunshine.
1. Beach Yoga: Since opened its doors in February yogis from across Pinellas have flocked to their classes that—at 105 degrees—promise to burn up to 500 calories off your bum. With their faithful following of students and devoted instructors like Dawn Storm, who leads one of the most intense hot yoga classes around, their taking their classes to the beach.
On Sunday’s at sunrise Dawn leads a beachside Ashtanga flow yoga class from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Bring a beach towel, water, wear comfortable clothes and a camera if you want to take some snapshots of the sunrise over Indian Rocks Beach. If interested in doubling up, Dawn goes back to the studio and teaches a hot flow class at 9 a.m.
What: Beach Yoga
Where: Indian Rocks Beach: Gulf Boulevard between 9th and 10th Avenue. Free parking at Indian Rocks Beach Nature’s Preserve.
Costs: $12 (register in advance) or buy a monthly or weekly package and save $$
2. Kayaking the Intracoastal: Kayaking is a great way to see Pinellas’ west coast. You’ll also get a heck of an upper body and core workout. Since there are so many places around renting kayaks they are reasonably priced. And if you really get into it, you can buy a kayak for about $299.
Kayak rentals near Largo:
- Island Marine Rentals (20045 Gulf Blvd. in Indian Shores/(727)595-0000): $25 (1 hour), $20 (2 hours), $40 (half day), $50 (full day) or $95 (week)
- Water Sports West (12900 Walsingham Rd. in Largo/ (727 517-7000): $50 a day or $60 for a tandem kayak.
- Dolphin Marine (11025 Gulf Blvd. in Treasure Island/ (727) 360-8408): tandem kayak $30 (2 hours), $45 (4 hours), $65 (full day). Note: Limited availability of kayaks, reserve in advance.
- Frenchy’s Jet Ski & Boat Rentals (9555 Blind Pass Rd. in St. Pete Beach/ (727) 360-8669): Single Kayaks: $15 (1 hour), $40 (4 hours), $50 (8 hours). Tandem kayaks: $20 (1 hour), $45 (4 hours), $55 (8 hours).
For maps of the bayway visit www.pinellascounty.org/plan/blueways
3. Stand-up Paddle Boarding: Stand-up paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing trends on this side of the coast. Just ask Steve LeVine the owner of Water Sports West in Largo. Three years ago they invested in some paddle boards. They had a couple of nibbles, but the trend had not caught on. Steve knew it would and his prediction was right on. This weekend Madeira Beach hosted the 2011 Gulf Coast Stand-Up Paddleboard Championships, which brought surfers and paddlers from across the country to our beaches. in Indian Rocks Beach specializes in stand-up paddle boards, surf boards, skim boards and body board rentals. The family owned operation will work with you on rentals and sale prices. Try it out for yourself.
Stand-up paddle board rentals:
- Island Surf Shop (309 Gulf Blvd. in Indian Rocks Beach/ (727596-2244): $30 half day and $50 full day.
- (12900 Walsingham Rd. in Largo/ (727) 517-7000): $50 full day (no half day rentals).
- Treasure Island Beach Rentals (10400 Gulf Blvd. in Treasure Island/ right on the beach across from Publix): $30(90 minutes), $50 ( 3 hours), $85 (full day).
4. Cycling the Pinellas Trail or Gulf Boulevard: Wipe off the dust, fill up those flat tires and jump on your bike for a scenic ride through the county’s award winning multi-use trail: Pinellas Trail. Cycling is fun way to sight see your neighborhood and city. If you don’t have a bike, no worries. There are plenty of bike rental shops along Gulf Boulevard. It’s a bit of a hike to get to the Pinellas Trail from the beach. An alternative is to cycle along Gulf Boulevard. Click on this link to view a map of the Pinellas Trail.
Beach bike rentals
- Indian Rocks Beach Rentals (435 Gulf Blvd. in IRB/ (727)230-4819): $5 (1 hour), $20 (day), $100 (week).
- Island Marine Rentals (20045 Gulf Blvd. in Indian Shores/ (727)595-0000): $5 (2 hours), $7 (half day), $15 (day), $20 ( 2 days), $50 (week).
- Dolphin Marine Rentals (11025 Gulf Blvd. in Treasure Island/ (727) 360-8408): $10 (4 hours), $16 (8 hours), $25 (day), $85 (week).
5. Bootcamp: When it comes to getting in shape, there are times we have to get aggressive. That’s where bootcamp fitness comes into play. We’ve all seen the hard-core training tactics Demi Moore endured in G.I. Jane. So here’s our shot at an intense fitness program designed to break weight loss plateaus. Largo has three sessions of bootcamps beginning June 1st. Sign up for the month or pay per class.
- Ultimate Bootcamp (): Class meets Monday and Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Highland Recreation Complex from June 6-29. Costs: $64 or $9 drop-in rate.
- Beach Body Bootcamp (Across from Guppy’s in Indian Rocks Beach/ 16th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard): Class meets Tuesday and Thursday from 6:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. . Classes run from June 2-30. Costs: $72 month or $10 drop-in rate.
- Bootcamp at: Class meets Tuesday and Thursday from 5:15 a.m. to 6 a.m. Classes run from June 2-30. Costs: $72 month or $10 drop in rate.