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Summer Fitness That Doesn't Feel Like Exercise


By: Karen Yontz Center Staff

Ah, summer. It's the time of year where so many of us feel like it's a crime to have to spend too much time indoors. If you are someone who spends the long winter months on the treadmill or elliptical at the gym, no doubt you are itching to get outside and continue your fitness plans outside come spring. But even if you're someone who begrudgingly does an exercise video at home or hauls yourself to Zumba class a few times a week, there is no doubt you are hoping for a calorie burn on the side of your summer fun. And the less it feels like a workout, the happier you are, right? The good news is that the summer months are full of opportunities to turn your everyday outdoor activities to a serious workout session*.

For those of you who stay close to home during the summer months, there are many ways to burn those calories while getting things done. Spending an afternoon tending to your flower or vegetable garden will help you burn about 136 calories each hour. And getting out the lawn mower and cutting the grass can help you get rid of about 196 calories (even more if you have to push that mower up any hills). If you'd rather have some fun, playing a game of horseshoes or cornhole can give you a burn of 90 calories. Why not set up a badminton court and challenge your friends to a match? You can kiss around 150 calories goodbye, plus give your arms a great workout.

Will you be entertaining the kids this summer? Get them outside to toss around the Frisbee or play a game of catch with you. You'll burn just over 100 calories in an hour doing the former and about 180 doing the latter. If you want to test your balance, draw a hopscotch course and show the kiddos an old-school good time. Recapturing your youth this way means you'll rid yourself of about 57 calories in just 10 minutes of playtime. And if you take the kids out for a game of mini-golf, your 45 minute game could help you burn 162 calories.

For those of you thrill-seekers out there, it may surprise you to learn that 30 minutes of jet skiing can help you burn 240 calories. If you want to spend more time on the water, waterskiing and wakeboarding are excellent calorie-shedders clocking in at 55 calories lost for 8 minutes behind the boat — provided you stay upright, of course. For those of you who prefer not to get wet, hitting the trail to go horseback riding will take care of over 140 calories and will give you an excellent leg and core workout in the process.

Of course, if you just want to switch up your indoor exercise routine, there are plenty options to do that as well. Taking your running from the treadmill to a sandy beach means you'll burn 1.6 times more calories. The same can be said about taking volleyball from a sturdy gym floor to the sand. If you want a great cardio workout but are tired of the same old run, why not channel the 90s and strap on some in-line skates? Rollerblading can burn 168 calories per hour plus tone up your glutes and legs.

Regardless of what activities you try, summer is the perfect time to shake things up, get outside, and get active. It's a great way to get more heart-healthy.

*Calories burned based on a 150 lb. person


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