Summer is quickly approaching, and here in the Southwest things escalate quickly in regards to the heat. Tucson has its first 100˚F high forecasted for the next week. While other locales at more northern latitudes may still be enjoying the cool air of Spring, we desert dwellers know it is soon time to head indoors. Sure, we have our cooler hours in the early morning and evenings. I personally find it hard to stay active when the heat starts hitting the 100's. Here's a round-up of some great ways to stay active through the summer, while avoiding the melting heat.
Don't let the lack of a private backyard pool stop you from cooling off in the water this summer. According to the CDC website, going outdoors is the safest choice when choosing to be around other people, and this includes the city pools. Tucson is reopening the city pools and splash pads at a limited capacity. Splash pads are a great option for those with small children who may not be quite ready to swim. For those who are looking to exercise or do laps at the pool, the city pools are open to reservations for lap swimming.
If you live in the outlying communities, cities like Marana and Oro Valley are looking to May for reopening of their pools to more than just adult lap swimming. Lap swimming can be a great way to get a good cardio workout and keeping the heat at bay. The city of Sahuarita has its city pool reopening at the end of May.
A great way to get in shape is by rock climbing. Many of the indoor gyms in the area are air-conditioned and have more than just walls to climb. Check out Rock Solid Climbing in Tucson near Ina for full-body conditioning and rock climbing. Never rock climbed before? No problem! They have lessons and gear for you. If you grab a membership you can take part in their fitness courses of yoga, dance fitness, and pilates for no extra cost. There is also a conditioning gym to work tone up in-between climbing sessions.
Rocks & Ropes is another great indoor climbing gym that has two locations in Tucson. One is downtown off of Toole Avenue, and the other is on the east side of town off of Tanque Verde and Bear Canyon Rd. Both locations offer varying levels of climbing paths, bouldering walls, and more. Memberships are required at Rocks & Ropes for the most part. They do have reservations available for day passes if you just want to test it out and see if it's for you.
For those who love the outdoors, there's no better place to escape the heat than Mount Lemmon. Spend the day hiking the trails above Summerhaven. There are a ton of great hikes on the way up and around the little hamlet of cabins. Stop into the General Store to pick up drinks, candy, and some wildflower honey (my personal favorite!). There are a few restaurants and fun gift shops to peruse if hiking isn't quite your thing.
The drive up the mountain does take about an hour if you're coming over from the highway. To really maximize your time, why not rent a cabin while up in the trees? There is a hotel and multiple cabins available for rentals. If roughing it is more your style, head to a camping ground. Many of the rentals and camping spots are pet-friendly!
Only in a place as hot as Arizona will you find Premises Park, an indoor skate park. You do need to BYOB (bring your own board) currently while COVID restrictions are in place. If it's your first time, schedule a lesson with one of the pros available at the park. They offer lessons to any age, so don't be scared to try something new! They are open late, so you can hit the park after classes or work. It's a great way to be active and get to try something new.
Instead of sweating it out a home and watching Netflix all summer, get out and try some new activities. You never know if you might just fall in love with a new hobby and make some friends in the process.