The best summer activities are an accidental workout.

By Kylie Gilbert
July 17, 2018
Photo: Allgord/Shutterstock

Since most outdoor summer activities double as a solid workout, there's no need to spend all your warm-weather days at the gym. We asked some of the most adventurous moms we know how they stay active as a family in this off-the-clock season. (Related: The Playground Boot-Camp Workout That'll Make You Feel Like a Kid Again)

Train Together

"I'm an ultramarathoner, and each summer we organize a Kids' Trail Running Club with all their school friends. We meet weekly and start by walking with short run intervals, with the goal of running a 5K at the end of the season. It's a great confidence booster for the kids and a blissful way for me to do my recovery runs."

-Ash Walsh, @ashruns100s

Go Into the Woods

"Each summer we do a very active camping trip. We go hiking and kayaking, and the kids climb trees. We have rock-throwing contests to see who can make the biggest splash or hit a certain tree. Half the fun is exploring: I wear a step counter, and I walk at least twice as far when camping." (Related: Fit Moms Share the Relatable and Realistic Ways They Make Time for Workouts)

-Sarah Murdock, @northcountrylittles

Play In the Park

"I push the kids in their stroller while Rollerblading around the park, then I shoot hoops with my 3-year-old. At the playground, I'll do squats while pushing them on the swings or do tuck-ups as I hang with them on the monkey bars. A lot of times, they want to join in!" (Try this creative pilates stroller workout for multitasking moms.)

-Kristy Ardo, @baby_fitgym

Storm the Beach

"We don't sit still when we hit the beach. We boogie board, play tag, and play soccer. I also love to practice yoga out there- it's more challenging because of the instability of the sand-and I have the kids come up with partner poses. I get extra work holding the pose, and the boys have fun climbing up." (Related: These Beach Yoga Photos from Instagram Will Have You Feeling Incredibly Zen)

-Josephine Jacob, @yoga_mami

Row, Row, Row

"As soon as my daughter could sit up, we got her a life jacket and started bringing her to the local lakes to paddle, boat, kayak, and even stand-up paddleboard. She sits on my board, and I encourage her to name wildlife that we pass as we paddle."

-Sara Ozim, @theoutdoormom

Go for a Family Hike

"My son is about to turn five and we've been hiking together since he was just a few weeks old when I would nurse him and change his diapers on the trails. When hiking with a baby or toddler, invest in a good carrier that really fits your body. With older kids, look for family-friendly trails with waterfalls or small creaks that will keep things exciting and fun for your little one."

-Shanti Hodges, @hikeitbaby

Explore Waterfalls

"Our favorite activity here on Maui is hiking to waterfalls. It keeps all six of us entertained and excited: I love the hiking and being out in nature; the younger kids enjoy exploring and looking for lizards and bugs, and the older kids are thrilled by the excitement of jumping from the top of the falls. Down below, we all love swimming together as a family."

-Beth Cagnoni, @bethcagnoni

Start a Family Practice

"With four babies at home, I started practicing during nap time in lieu of the yoga studio. As my boys grew, they started joining me. To make it more special for them, I grab some towels (their mats) and create a story out of our yoga practice. "Reach up in mountain pose and try to grab some stars; bend down to forward fold because an eagle is swooping down!" The story becomes an adventure and playtime while they stretch their bodies, giggle, and get special time with mommy."

-Katie Perry, @ktbabieyogini

Scale Some Cliffs

"Rock climbing allowed me to get outside and get involved with a new hobby without feeling the inevitable mom guilt from leaving my kids behind; it's a great family sport. (My 5-year old daughter climbed before she could walk!) Climbing teaches your kids amazing life lessons like how to problem solve, trust yourself, and face your fears-all while having fun in the outdoors!

-Amanda Edmonds, @adventuringwithkids

Make Gardening Fun

"Gardening is such a healthy and adventurous way to spend time together outside while teaching my son new things. I've always loved spending morning and evenings in my garden and being connected to my food in this way; now to see how much he enjoys doing it with me makes it even more magical. He loves planting the seeds and making a game out of weeding or collecting bugs and other creatures. And of course, cutting open your fresh fruits and veggies and eating them together is something everyone can enjoy together!" (Related: How to Still Eat Like a Grown-Up When You Have a Picky Kid to Feed)

-Megan Gilger, @freshexchange

Get One With Nature

"Living in an urban environment like New York, one of my favorite things is to go to the local park to explore trails, pathways, and meadows. To make it extra special and encourage my kids to look up, down, and all around them, I designed a scavenger hunt where they can collect objects from nature-it also teaches a good lesson in litter clean-up!"

-Amanda Kingloff of, @amandakingloff

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