How to make the most of summer

 Summer officially kicked off this week. For many, it' time for traveling, relaxing and taking it a little slower while spending more time with friends and family. For those of us who are hoping to take advantage of warmer weather, longer days and being outside, here are some tips to help make the most of the season. Sign up for a race: Many races and events take place this time of year, so consider looking for upcoming opportunities in your area where you could participate. If you live in the Chicago area, consider downloading the REM-Fit Life app(also available on Google Play), which details many upcoming races. And, the REM-Fit Recovery Station and team could be there!
  • Play sand volleyball: With many courts and clubs open, sand volleyball is a fun way to get friends together, go outside and switch up your typical exercise routine, too.
  • Hit the pool and soak up some rays: If you're fortunate enough to have access to a pool, take full advantage! You can spend the afternoon lounging, pepper in some cardio (don't forget to get the goggles out!) and even add some strength. Shape offers great suggestions on how to train in the pool if you're not a fan of swimming laps.
  • Go canoeing or kayaking: Nothing brings you back to your summer camp days quite like canoeing. And now many outfitters also carry kayaks, so you can grab a friend and take your workout to the water.
  • Clear your schedule for an afternoon: Most will find that one of the best parts of summertime is how everything slows down just a tiny bit. Whether you're still a student or have kids on break, now is the time to relax. Even if you work full time, many people go on vacation over the next few months, which makes it easier to take an afternoon off here and there. One tip is to try to disconnect to maximize the benefits of your vacation or staycation. If you can, leave the electronics behind. Research has shown how important not checking email or social media is. It allows you time to focus, let your mind wander and fully be present with those you're spending time. It' tough to commit to, but you may find you're more relaxed and more productive once you return to your normal schedule.
  • Switch up your routine with outdoor exercises: Do you love the gym? Consider changing your routine to experience the great outdoors. From bike riding to simply going for a walk, you'll find there' so much to do outside of the gym. Consider exploring nearby parks or running through downtown. For ideas, be on the lookout for your community' event schedule , many fitness studios and gyms will take their classes outside.
  • Make time for rest: With longer days and so many available activities, don't forget rest is critical no matter the time of year. Consider making the most of your relaxation time by having quality pillows.
Summer is the chosen favorite season of many, and it' easy to understand why. There' so much to do! Enjoy summertime to the fullest by trying something new and spending more time with friends and family. You won't regret it as the season wraps up and we head into fall , which will be here before we know it!