Summer’s here, and it’s time to get outside and get active. If you work out all year, outdoor activities extend your range of exercise programs, and if you’ve been sedentary, now’s the perfect time to get moving. Whether it’s for fun or fitness, there are so many activities to choose from – and along with workout benefits, you’ll also get a healthy dose of fresh air!
This is a casual, inexpensive way for you and a friend to get some cardiovascular exercise and have a bit of fun, too. If there’s a beach nearby, play on the sand – it’s easier on the joints (and softer to land in when you lose your balance). For a more competitive workout, try Ultimate Frisbee, an energetic and exciting game that’s a bit like football or rugby, using a Frisbee.
30-MINUTE CALORIE COUNT: 100
Looking for a quick way to get fit? This demanding (and fun!) activity requires only a skipping rope, and burns an enormous number of calories in a relatively short period of time. Try and skip on soft ground rather than paved surfaces to keep the workout gentle on the joints. And to keep things interesting, skip to music or learn some skipping tricks like cross-overs or one-legged jumping.
30-MINUTE CALORIE COUNT: 410
Sound scary? Start slowly with trained guides who will teach you the basics like how to tie safety knots and fasten harnesses. You’ll learn how to reach and grasp for holds for your fingers and toes, and use your balance, coordination and strength to help you rise to greater heights. And over time, along with endurance and flexibility, you’ll also gain confidence and independence.
30-MINUTE CALORIE COUNT: 375
It’s great for aerobic fitness, strength, endurance and balance. Inline skating is easier than running because the gliding action allows you to coast, and it’s low impact, so it doesn’t take a toll on your knees. It’s lots of fun, too, but be sure to wear a helmet and protective gear for your knees, elbows and wrists, and practice skating and stopping in a safe environment before you venture out to the street.
30-MINUTE CALORIE COUNT: 240
The perfect activity for just about every age and fitness level, biking builds strength, endurance, ability and balance. And the added bonus? You can ride as vigorously (or as casually) as you like, while you enjoy your surroundings. It’s workout time that will just fly by!
30-MINUTE CALORIE COUNT: 290
Think this is a game for your elders? Think again! Badminton is quick-moving interval training much like volleyball or tennis, using muscles of the upper and lower body. And you can pick up an inexpensive badminton set at any sporting goods store and enjoy playing anywhere.
30-MINUTE CALORIE COUNT: 150
Loads of fun and hugely popular, the one prerequisite of kayaking is the ability to swim – because you will occasionally end up in the water (stay near the shore line and take safety precautions, especially if you’re a beginner). Wet or dry, the fitness benefits are big: it’s an aerobic workout that also uses muscles in the upper, lower and mid-body.
30-MINUTE CALORIE COUNT: 170
Like snowboarding is the cool new sport on the ski hills, wakeboarding is the water equivalent. Using one big surf-style board, you ride behind a boat like waterskiing (so you need strong arm and core muscles); it develops strength, flexibility, coordination and concentration. You’ll fall at first, but be patient. Once you get the hang of it, it’s one of the most fun activities on water!
30-MINUTE CALORIE COUNT: 205
The perfect activity for a group of family members or friends, water volleyball is played in shallow water with a net (or just string up a line) that’s a little lower than for land volleyball. It’s the ultimate way to have fun splashing around in the water – but it also demands strength, endurance and aerobic fitness.
30-MINUTE CALORIE COUNT: 100