The Arkansas heat is miserable. Well, the humidity is miserable, and the heat is just a bonus to that misery. Things get HOT here, and I am less motivated to exercise in the summer. Probably more so than any other season! I have found that maintaining your health is easier to keep up with when you’re doing activities you enjoy! I love hiking and walking my dogs, but when the pavement gets too hot for them and their paws (if the air temperature is 95 degrees then the concrete is 140) then that’s marked off the roster almost entirely unless I want to get up before dawn.
Spoiler: I don’t. So what can I do to keep active? Then it hit me. Water sports! I love the water, and I love swimming. If I’m not in or around the water in the summer I don’t want to be outside.
This past weekend we rented a paddleboat for less than $11 at Pinnacle State Park. My husband and I paddled around for a good hour, and let me tell you, my legs were feeling the burn! When you’re doing something fun, you don’t notice how much work you’re doing until it is over. Now, Pinnacle State Park doesn’t allow you to swim in their pond, but many other parks in Arkansas do and also have marine rentals available! Get out, grab a paddleboat, and if you get over-heated relax in the water a while.
Speaking of water, we visited Lake Catherine the next day for a 4th of July adventure! This park is another great place to rent boats, and this time we chose to take out a tandem kayak. Disclaimer: if you aren’t good at communicating directions with your kayak partner, I highly recommend a single kayak instead unless you enjoy spinning in circles out in the open water. If the paddleboats were leg day, then this was arm day. Our arms were so tired, but we felt proud because we went to the end of the lake and back. Afterward, we swam at the swim beach. We were still exercising, but the water helped us feel refreshed. It was so fun!
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise, and it takes the weight off your joints, which is helpful if – like me – you don’t exercise enough, and your joints aren’t ready for an intense workout. Physical therapists often recommend hydrotherapy for this reason! I’ve even been looking into hydrotherapy for my dog, Rosten, who has hip dysplasia.
Paddleboarding is an activity I’d like to try next, as it seems like a perfect way to work on your full-body balance. I’ll give my arms a break, though. If you’re interested in any of these activities, Rock Town River Outfitters is located in the heart of Little Rock! They provide rentals and can get you started on your watersport journey.
Whatever you decide to do this summer, whether in the water or on dry land, remember to stay safe and hydrated!