GET ACTIVE WHILE OUTDOORS THIS SUMMER

By Amanda Harper

 

As we get into the heart of summer, now is the perfect time to get out of the house and have some fun!

There’s nothing better than enjoying the sunshine while staying active and healthy during the warmer months.

We’ve broken down 10 ways that you can do just that right here in Lexington; some might even be right down the street!

 

Yoga on the Green

Center yourself in the heart of downtown. Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 6-7am through August 22nd, enjoy free yoga in Triangle Park presented by the YMCA of Central Kentucky. In the event of inclement weather, the class will be held inside the High Street YMCA Group Exercise Room. Remember to bring along a towel, water bottle and yoga mat!

Alternate idea: Several organizations coordinate outdoor yoga sessions throughout the summer. For instance, The Kentucky Castle offers sunset yoga if you prefer getting your stretch on in the evenings. Be on the lookout for Facebook events to find the latest outdoor yoga in town

 

Bike the Legacy Trail

Beginning at the Isaac Murphy Memorial Garden in the East End and winding up at the Kentucky Horse Park Campgrounds, the Legacy Trail is one of Lexington’s most beautiful trailways. The 12-mile shared-use greenway offers a comfortable, paved path that’s mostly off-street.  Enjoy public art displays and a leisurely ride while soaking up all that makes Lexington a wonderful place to live.

Alternate Idea: The Blue Grass Trust’s Cycling Through History path invites you to discover Lexington’s past while you pedal. Get the guide from VisitLex.

 

Out on the Water

You can beat the summer heat while getting more active. Who likes to canoe? Kentucky’s waterways offer beautiful views and cool, relaxing outdoor fun. Take a boat out on the water and waterski or wakesurf the day away. Not nautical? Head to a local marina or watersports rental business and rent equipment to dip your toes in or take lessons. Whether you kayak, raft, pedal boat, tube, canoe or paddle board, make a splash with aquatic activities.

Tip: Sunscreen is your friend when you’re on the water! Remember to re-apply: even water-resistant sunscreens stop working as soon as 40 minutes.

 

The Spraygrounds

Kids can make a splash in Lexington with city park “spraygrounds”, fun interactive water features that are perfect for kids of all ages. The Spraygrounds in Jacobson and Masterson parks are open from the end of April through early October, 9am - dusk. The Spraygrounds at Castlewood and Douglass parks require admission to the pool facilities and operate on the pools’ schedules. Parental supervision is required.

Alternate Idea: Need even more fun? The Whitaker Family YMCA has an outdoor Splash Pad that kids will love. Contact them for more information.

 

Night Moves

Love to be active, but hate the summer heat? There are lots of nighttime events that help you safely get out and about without suffering through the sun’s rays. Check out the websites for McConnell Springs, Raven Run, Shaker Village and other local parks for fun twilight events. From stargazing to night hikes, there are a lot of ways for night owls to get going. The annual A Midsummer Night’s Run (August 8th) is a perennial favorite 1-mile fun run, children’s race and 5K that kicks off as the sun goes down in downtown.

Tip: If you’re out and about at night, wear reflectors, travel with a group and follow other common sense safety practices. Stay safe out there!

 

Walk it Out

Lexington has tons of fantastic walking trails. Raven Run Nature Sanctuary boasts 4.1 miles of hiking that climbs 515 feet on the way to Palisades Overlook. McConnell Springs has two miles of trails, including a half-mile paved loop. The Arboretum Trail is 2 miles of paved walking trails surrounded by beautiful examples of local tree species. Coldstream Park is a popular destination with 1.2 miles of shared use pathways that lead into the Legacy Trail.

Tip: Visit lexingtonky.gov/trails to learn more about our city’s many walking trails! Ready to make a big step forward? Search for local 5K races and walk for a great cause.

 

Pick-Your-Own

Don’t limit your time at the orchard to just fall! Many have pick-your-own summer crops (and other outdoor activities) that you can enjoy with the whole family.  As a bonus, you’ll come home with a bounty of fresh, local produce! Check out your favorite orchard’s website for what crops are in season, as well as what special activities are scheduled so you won’t miss a thing.

Alternate Idea: Don’t forget about local wineries! Take a stroll among the vines with a guided tour or dance the night away at one of their concerts.

 

Hit the Zipline

Get a rush while you take in some truly incredible scenery! At Red River Gorge Zipline Tours, guests climb about 80 steps to even get to the zipline, which takes you up to 55mph over 300 feet in the air. It’s sure to get your heart rate up while offering you a thrilling experience. Before and afterward, there’s lots of hiking to enjoy in the area, as well as rock climbing.

Tip: Ziplining is not for everyone. Do your research before heading out. Take along friends, so that you don’t chicken out!

 

Grand Slam

Tennis is a great way to get active and make new friends. There are many public tennis courts in Lexington Parks, or private facilities at local gyms, clubs and complexes that often offer instruction. Local amateur leagues can help you stay accountable while offering some competitive fun. Getting into the game? Check out the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships July 29th - August 4th to see the best of the best in action.

Alternate Idea: Getting active can be social! Lexington has adult and youth leagues for several awesome sports, from tennis and disc golf to pickleball or footgolf. Meet new people while having a blast.

 

Fore!

Sunshine means it’s tee time in central Kentucky! The area’s many public and private golf courses offer endless fun for players of all skill levels. With the Barbasol Championship in town at the end of the month, there’s never been a better time to hit the green and brush up on your backswing.

You may not be competing, but there’s a lot to learn from watching the pros at the Barbasol Championship! Head to Champions at Keene Trace Golf Club July 18th - 21st to see 132 of the best players in the sport, including PGA TOUR Professionals. Seeing the action up close will provide priceless insights into your own game.

Aside from witnessing some truly amazing play, there is a lot for spectators to enjoy during the tournament. Thursday, July 18th is Military Appreciation Day. Saturday, July 20th is Family Day, with activities for the entire family to enjoy. The championship ceremony will be held following play on Sunday, July 21st. Tickets are available online.

If you’re interested in developing your own golf skills, central Kentucky boasts a number of options. Lexington Parks & Recreation offers adult golf schools under the direction of PGA Professionals. Many private golf courses offer one-on-one instruction while local pro shops can help outfit you for success. Local driving ranges allow you to practice your precision without the long haul.

Kids can go in on the fun, too! Lexington Parks & Recreation’s Play Golf Lex Junior Programs offer lots of opportunities for children to discover their passion for golf. The Gilbert-Bunnell Golf Camps, which are held each spring, summer and fall, are a great way for kids to get golfing.

Why golf? This low-impact sport typically burns more calories than a short trip to the gym – even if you take a cart! With sweeping views of some of central Kentucky’s most beautiful terrain, most players find golf to be a relaxing pastime. Many others find it to be the perfect environment to conduct important business meetings. Whether for work or pleasure, golf offers a host of benefits. It offers social interaction as well as a physical challenge. Practicing your swing requires balance, coordination and skill, promoting mental acuity.

Not at home on the range? Putt-putt is a great family activity that doesn’t require a masterful backswing. Disc golf is an alternative for those who prefer frisbees to five irons.

Whether you’re a seasoned golf fanatic or a complete novice, central Kentucky’s many golf courses are a fantastic way to get active outdoors this summer.

 

 

 

 

 



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