Summer is all about sunshine, ice cream, BBQ’s and having a good time outdoors. But, when the sun is shining, a whole new world of fitness activities offers fun and an excellent way to maintain your beach body. It’s the perfect season to embrace a wide range of outdoor activities that can help us burn calories. Why should we stay cooped up in a room when we could step outside, take in the lovely sunshine and engage in various sports and physical activities that blend efficient calorie burning with lots of fun.
Whether it’s a simple stroll at dusk, or a bike ride to the beach for a picnic, this season seems to motivate us to play, explore and move in ways winter simply cannot. Even quick bursts of activity that we may not consider exercise can be fun ways to get outdoors, enjoy the sunshine and squeeze in some exercise time in the process.
Following is a list of our favorite get-out-in-nature pastimes along with some information on their benefits to help get you get the most effective workout and burn the most calories.
Frisbee: Up to 210 calories/hour
Nothing screams of summer quite like finding an open meadow and tossing a Frisbee back and forth with a friend. Turns out, it isn’t a bad way to add a little bit more exercise into your day. All that running, jumping, and wrist-flicking adds up to around 210 calories burned/hour.
Cycling: 325 Calories/Hour
If you think running is too intense for you but you’re still looking for a type of workout that’ll get you in shape, cycling may be the answer. Compared to running, cycling is a lower impact activity and therefore has a lower rate of injuries. This doesn’t mean it won’t help you get rid of those undesired calories. Riding your bike at a speed of 8 mph (13 km/h) will cut 326 calories in an hour.
Cycling is worth considering not only because it’s a low-impact form of working out, but also because it’s fun, relaxing and bring lots of health benefits. Moreover, it’s a physical activity you can easily incorporate into your everyday life. You can ride your bike to work instead of driving, you can use it run errands, for shorter trips and even for grocery shopping if you add a metal basket.
Hiking: Up to 370 calories/hour
One of the best ways to get your nature on is to strap on a pair of hiking shoes and hit the open trails. Not only is hiking meditative and great for soothing frazzled nerves, but trekking up and down uneven terrain also gives your body a terrific cardiorespiratory workout while improving muscular fitness. And you might even spot some animals along the way! For a person of average size, hiking can burn up to 370 calories/hour.
Golf: Up to 400 calories/hour
Of course, while there are some diehard golfers who will hit the links on a marginally warm day in the dead of winter, most people enjoy playing when the summer sun is out. Though some people joke that golf is more of a game and less of a sport, it’s actually a great way to get exercise. A typical round of golf burns somewhere between 300 and 400 calories/hour.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding: Up to 500 calories/hour
Invented in Hawaii as a way for surfers to get out further from shore to catch bigger waves, stand up paddle boarding is an activity that’s rapidly gaining popularity.
While participants may look calm as they paddle across the water, stand up paddling actually requires engagement of a lot of different muscle groups, especially core muscles which are necessary for keeping one’s balance on the board. All this can add up to a burn of 500 calories/hour.
Tennis: Up to 560 calories/hour
With the constant movement required during a tennis match (and a match’s length), it’s a no-brainer that this summertime favorite is a great cardio workout. The explosive movements can also tighten up the muscles in your arms, back, legs, and core. It’s not bad at burning off excess calories either, coming in at 560 calories/hour.
Running: 648 Calories/Hour
If you want to take things to the next level, this is definitely an alternative to consider. In comparison to walking, running has proven to be more effective in terms of calorie burning due to the fact that it’s a high-intense physical activity. Running at a speed of 5 mph (8 km/h) for an hour will help you burn an impressive total of 648 calories.
Since it’s summertime, you can enjoy the lovely outdoors and run anywhere you want. You can do it in nature, in the park, on a specially-built track if you can find one close to you and also on the beach. Running on sand will allow you to burn 1.6 times the total of calories burned while running on even surfaces. This is due to the fact that you’ll engage more muscle groups and put more effort into keeping your balance.
Soccer: Up to 700 calories/hour
Though professional soccer still isn’t as popular stateside as it is in other countries, plenty of us have spent a summer afternoon playing a game of pickup soccer. It’s a great cardio workout that helps build strength in your legs and core muscles. Playing soccer for an hour can burn around 700 calories.
Rock Climbing: Up to 750 calories/hour
For many people, a sheer rock face isn’t a sign that they should turn back; rather, it’s a challenge to scale it and see what’s on top.
Climbing has become so popular in the United States that there are entire gyms dedicated to getting people off the ground and dangling from walls. Of course, climbing is a great way to tone up your arms, but it’s also an intense workout for the back, chest, abs, and legs as well. On top of that, rock climbing can burn up to a whopping 750 calories/hour.
Swimming: Up to 900 calories/hour
Swimming is an amazing total body workout. It’s good for your heart, muscle tone, and depending on whom you ask, it can be very good for weight loss. The gentle resistance that water gives is easy on joints, but it’s also great for getting some extra exercise. Even just splashing around playing a game of Marco Polo will burn around 400 calories/hour, while doing the butterfly stroke can push that number up to 900 calories/hour for a 180-pound swimmer.