Summer Exercise Tips from Dr. Chani Henderson

Summer is the ideal time to exercise. Pacific Northwest weather is mild, schedules are more relaxed, and the calendar’s light on school conflicts or hectic holiday requirements. Even meals are quickly solved by tossing things on the grill with fresh watermelon slices for dessert. But all too often we get busy and forget to take a few minutes each day to stay fit and healthy. Why not turn a fun afternoon outing into all-ages exercise with a day spent on the water.

Dr. Henderson and her son preparing for a day out on the water - Summer Exercise Tips from Dr. Chani Henderson

Dr. Chani Henderson of Family & Sports Chiropractic Clinic loves taking to the lakes and rivers around Vancouver with her young family. They are active explorers and stand-up paddleboarders, heading out as often as they can. Like swimming, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is easy on the joints but provides a full-body workout for all activity and ability levels.

SUP is deceptively simple. You stand on what looks like a surfboard and maneuver with a kayak-like paddle. But fitness magazines explain “SUP puts nearly every single muscle in your body to work, but one area that’s targeted the most while you’re out on the water is your core. Maintaining your balance requires constant engagement of your abdominal muscles and, along with the muscles in your upper body, they’ll contract as you row from side to side…The level of intensity certainly depends on what type of water you’re boarding on, but even if you’re just paddling along over flat, calm waters your balance, strength, and endurance will be put to the test all at once.”

Summer Exercise Tips from Dr. Chani Henderson

But don’t just go TO the water, get IN it! Add a cooling swim for the ultimate extra summer benefit. Healthline reports that “Swimming is an excellent way to work your entire body and cardiovascular system. An hour of swimming burns almost as many calories as running, without all the impact on your bones and joints…Swimming may even help reduce some of your pain or improve your recovery from an injury.”

They also acknowledge swimming’s benefit for people dealing with asthma, multiple sclerosis (MS), and those combatting sleep issues, depression, and stress. Relatively low cost, it’s an ideal solution for children, families, seniors, pregnant women, and everyone in between. Whether pool or lake, indoors or out, swimming is year-round fun and exercise.

Local Spots for Summer Water Fun!

In the Vancouver area, Dr. Henderson likes to paddleboard on LaCamas Lake, the Columbia River, and Fallen Leaf Lake. Sweetwater SUP Rentals, Ridgefield Kayak, and SUPortland will all rent boards and equipment as well as offer lessons for beginners and more experienced athletes alike. SUPortland will even deliver to lakes in and around the Portland/Vancouver area for a small fee. Most rentals include board, life jacket, paddles, and necessary safety equipment. Just show up and off you go.

Look for lists of Vancouver’s top-rated swimming pools or paddleboard rentals online. But no matter how you exercise this summer, there are a few seasonal safety tips to remember. Don’t let a fun day outdoors leave you benched until autumn by illness or injury. encourages exercisers to stay on their toes. But, they warn, “don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Exercising in the summer sun means your body is using water to regulate your temperature. When you’re low on fluids, fatigue sets in and you can’t perform optimally.”

Also never skimp on sunscreen—even in our often cloudy climate—and don’t overdo or over-exert. “Don’t make the mistake of ignoring exhaustion. Exercising in summer heat can make it easy to brush off that sluggish feeling, but being tired isn’t something you should ignore. If you feel dizzy, faint or nauseated, listen to your body and stop.”

Dr. Henderson's son and husband enjoying some water exercise on vacation | Summer Exercise Tips from Dr. Chani Henderson

If a summer full of excitement becomes a fall of aches and pains, schedule a consult ASAP. “Chiropractic care is healing your body from the inside out,” says Dr. Henderson. “At A Family & Sports Chiropractic Clinic, we know this to be true. We have worked with thousands of patients and watched them find freedom as they liberate their body from pain through chiropractic treatment.” Under her care, you’ll improve balance, strength, mobility, and be ready for whatever the seasons throw your way.

Book your visit by calling 360-254-0400. We’ll also help with sports injuries, auto accidents, general and pregnancy chiropractic needs. We encourage you to ask questions and learn more about nutrition, stress, posture, and physical activity so that you can have fun and live healthy.