Summer is the perfect time of year to enjoy all your favorite outdoor fitness activities. Baseball, soccer, golf, running, Zumba, yoga. Wait! What? Zumba and yoga? Since when did those become outdoor sports.

Since now. This year, the St. Charles Park District is taking the phrase "fun in the sun" literally and moving some of its favorite fitness classes out of the gym and into the park.

"We only have so many warm weather months, so why not make the most of it," said Lara Piner, Community Center Supervisor and Volunteer Coordinator.

And there are so many ways to do just that. One can greet the day at a "Sunrise Yoga" class, a perfect way to awaken the mind and energize the body through gentle stretches and restorative breathing exercises. Tweens and teens can work off the stress of their day at "Sunset Yoga for Teens," where the basic principles of Yoga and relaxation techniques provide a positive foundation that can be utilized throughout one's life. Held at Pottawatomie Park, "Sunrise Yoga" classes take place on Wednesday mornings from 6 to 7 AM and "Sunset Yoga for Teens" sessions take place from 7 to 8 PM on Monday nights from June 12 to July 31. Participants are welcome to bring their own equipment, though the Park District will provide mats and bug spray.

For those looking for a thoroughly energetic and exhilarating workout, the "Zumba Party at the Pavilion" on Thursday, June 8 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM promises to be a workout like no other. This hour of calorie-burning , muscle-pumping, heart-racing fun takes place in the iconic setting of the Pottawatomie Park Pavilion. In addition to all the body-energizing fun, theme exercises and raffles will be held throughout the hour.

"Our Zumba instructors have always wanted to do something at the Pavilion," said Piner.

Summer abounds with 5K runs for all types of causes. For anyone who has ever wanted to compete but didn't know how to get started, the "Walk to Run 5K" classes will get you off on the right foot. The twice-a-week sessions that meets from 9 to 10am features supervised increased running/decreased walking instruction on Tuesday while Thursday sessions are devoted to guest speakers who will cover important ancillary subjects such as nutrition, strength-training and physical therapy. The goal of the program will be for participants to accomplish a 30-minute continuous run.

"This is the best way to build confidence for people who have always wanted to sign up for a 5K but never thought they'd be able to," said Piner.

And of course, summer wouldn't be summer without time in the pool. "Aqua Aerobics" at Swanson Pool is a great way to cool off and tone up at the same time. Perfect for all fitness levels, "Aqua Aerobics" combines cardio, strength training and stretching exercises for a total-body workout. When performed in the pool, water aerobics decreases impact and increases resistance, making it a gentle but effective way to get in shape.

Yet another way to get a great workout is to stop by the fitness plaza in Pottawatomie Park and run through a circuit of strength training and resistance exercises on specially-designed outdoor workout stations that include a leg press, lat pull, chin-up bar, incline bench, and elliptical machine.

"It's a great way to get in a quick workout if you're out for a walk in the park or maybe waiting for your kids to finish up a round at River View Mini Golf," said Piner. "There's something about doing these typical gym exercises outdoors that makes them much more fun."

All classes will be held outdoors, weather permitting. Class registrants will be called in case of inclement weather and classes will be moved indoors to the Pottawatomie Community Center. For more information on the park district's outdoor fitness classes and activities, contact Lara Piner at 630-513-4330.