As Earth hurdles through space, its axis enables the seasons to change between hot and cold, as shared by the northern and southern hemispheres. It is now our turn for warm weather, and we at the Jamwich are beside ourselves with excitement. We are on the precipice of what humans call summertime; sweet, glorious summertime. Countless amazing experiences will take place during our warmest season, as everyone gathers in the now not-so-harsh outdoors for cookouts, festivals, camping trips, family reunions, and day-trips to the coast. All of these grin-inducing destinations have a trait in common; they are not exactly the healthiest things we could be doing this summer. Spring and summer certainly seem to be the most beautifully-embraced parts of the year for us as a species, but we more commonly take part in unhealthy social activities such as cigarette smoking, consumption of (insert your favorite brewed or distilled beverage here), and the feasting upon high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods. All of these shenanigans take a large toll on one’s pluck, especially if the subject in question is unable to find a balance between healthy and unhealthy. You may not notice the effects of this behavior until after you hit forty, when age begins to more rapidly affect your body. At that time, those who dedicated their time to staying healthy in a more proactive manner will show many less signs of aging in all aspects. This downfall may catch you before then or it may wait longer than fifty or sixty, it really depends on the overall health of the person. Today the Jamwich will cover the most common and fun ways to stay in shape this summer without ever setting foot in a smelly gym! Here are the best ways to get out and spend time with friends, with a few tips to help your efficiency in doing so!

-On Foot

Hiking and running; these age-old forms of travel are now considered to be recreational activity and/or part of your daily workout routine. In fact, all of the activities discussed in this article can double to help you… say… get to work? Perhaps to evade the hash-slinging slasher? In either of these cases, it’d be a damn good thing to be practiced-up, should the need arise. For either hiking or running the first imperative is that you’ll need good shoes. Shoes that cushion properly and have a relatively low impact on the joints while maintaining rigidity and traction with the ground will be your best bet in any price bracket, so choose wisely. When running, the breathability of the shoe trumps water resistance. Decent support, good wet and dry traction, and airflow are priorities when running for great lengths of time. To lessen the impact on your joints, I suggest that you invest in a pair of insoles. Insoles are the unsung hero of exercise-oriented fun running and will help keep good posture as well as help keep your joints aligned to minimize friction between bones. You will need insoles if you plan on exercising in this manner over the summer, and trust me on this. Tendonitis from too much stress on your arches is much too painful and debilitating to take lightly or neglect altogether. Anyone that has dealt with this condition will tell you that even walking to the bathroom with tendonitis in your feet seems too great of a task. Avoid this by taking the necessary precautions outlined herein. When hiking remember to choose boots that will provide at least a degree of water-resistance along with a decent amount of flexibility. You will evenly trade breathability for water-resistance when it comes to choosing the correct hiking boots. Boots of the steel-toed variety behoove the wearer over non-reinforced boots, especially on the often rocky trails of the Appalachian region.

-On Wheels

Ever since our cave-dwelling forefathers figured out that rolling weight is easier than carrying it, modern man has been tweaking and perfecting wheeled machines. The bicycle is a marvelous example of the combination of the knowledge of simple machines and emission-free propulsion. These two aspects of the bicycle flow harmoniously together and have been doing so since the days of the Hobby Horse. Remember the toll running and hiking can take on your joints as you exercise? This does not occur on a bicycle, at least not in the same magnitude as it does when hiking or running. Travel is faster and exercising is more enjoyable on a bicycle. There are many dedicated bicycle trails criss-crossing the countryside near you, but many are unbeknownst to the masses. Old railroads turned into biking/jogging trails will be your best bet if you’re fresh into the world of biking or are just reacquainting yourself with being on a bicycle. Flat ground is the reason for this. Many state parks have very well-maintained bicycle trails but there is not always a promise that they’ll be flat. This aspect of riding is completely at your own discretion. Since bicycles are statistically more dangerous than automobiles, it’s always aLwAyS ALWAYS a good idea to wear a helmet. Most municipal and state trails require the wearing of helmets to travel on their trails, and for good reason. The fact that they are required should not be your reason for wearing a helmet, as it does not take a very hard hit at the correct angle to fracture a human cranium. All safety lecturing aside, exercise and fun cannot come together more functionally on dry land than on a bicycle. Always keep an eye on tire pressure and keep all moving parts lubricated and you shall experience many miles of exhilaration!

-On Water


“Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies… somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly, a girl with the Jamwich, surprise!”

Whether you’re Lucy in the Sky (with or without diamonds) or one of the Beatles, we at the Jamwich cannot promise cellophane flowers or newspaper taxis. We can, on the contrary, guarantee that you will find the utmost tranquility and inner peace while commandeering a canoe or kayak down a quiet stream. Remember to always wear a life jacket and prepare for the worst-case scenario (e.g. tipping your vessel) by packing all necessities into a bear-proof, watertight, and floatable container. Employing paddles that float will be a huge help, and will literally prevent you from going up shit creek sans paddle. Dropping a paddle into the drink is as unpredictable as a lightning strike, and it happens to even the most experienced of paddlers. Make sure to also invest in an emergency kit of only the most buoyant variety. It will look like a small orange bucket; if you don’t have one of these; get one before you set keel to the breakers. When going on longer canoe trips, remember that the canoe will be the main container for all belongings, and they will stay on board when portaging, granted that there are two in a canoe. For those who don’t know, portaging is when you must carry your vessel across a piece of dry land between two waterways. If you plan on going by yourself, you should pack light so it can be carried on your back when you rest the gunnels on your shoulders. As a safety precaution, it is a good idea to tie a “canoe whistle” to your life jacket in the event that you get washed away by current. Similar to the “Fox 40” whistle minus the rattle, use it to alert your first mate of your whereabouts. I hope you never need it, but in the event that you do, you will have nothing but gratitude for it. Remember, luck is where preparedness meets opportunity. Pack some sandwiches, grab the fishing gear, practice making “J” strokes, and you’ll be all set for a decent paddle down the stream! If you so happen to hear banjos, paddle faster.


Don’t drown and you’ll be fine! Watch out for water moccasins! Eek!!

I know I haven’t covered all forms of outdoor frolicking in summer, but these have the possibility to be the first in many minds. Dancing is a major form of staying in shape during the summer for all of us at the Jamwich, and I realize it probably is for you too. Whatever the reason, I encourage you to get outdoors as much as possible this spring and summer! Outdoor yoga and outdoor meditation go hand in hand with the activities I have described here as well. Get out, put your toes in the mud, and ground yourself! Stay healthy my friends. Much love.