There’s nothing like the great outdoors! Savor the last few moments of summer by ditching the gym and getting your sweat on in the sun. Here are some of our favorite outdoor activities that are so fun, you may not even realize you’re getting a workout in.
Any activity in the sand will have you sweating—and it’s not all from the sweltering sun above you. When the sandy surface sinks beneath you with every step, it forces your muscles, tendons, and ligaments to work harder. Feel the burn by walking a few miles along the shoreline, picking up a game of beach volleyball, or recruiting some friends for an intense round of Spike Ball!
Sometimes the same cardio class every week in a stuffy gym studio can be a recipe for stir-craziness. Take your routine to the pool for a refreshing, energetic workout while the weather’s still nice. Water provides natural resistance and eliminates gravity, so your muscles are doing more work than they would on land, but without the stiffening post-workout pain. Can’t find a class or fit one into your schedule? Try these water exercises on your own!
This zero-impact total body workout can burn 500 calories an hour without taxing your muscles and joints. No wonder doctors recommend swimming to pregnant woman and people with arthritis or weight problems. Laps in the pool don’t only improve heart health, they also do wonders for flexibility and lung capacity. Stronger with every stroke!
Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)
SUP can burn twice as many calories as walking. And the faster you glide across the water, the harder your abs are working to keep up with you. So rent a paddleboard this weekend and take off to the nearest lake you can find. If you’re feeling extra daring, try a few yoga poses on the board. Just be prepared to get a little wet!
Is anything more breathtaking than trekking a path to a mountain peak, each step closer to the vast landscape that awaits you? Here’s the best part, you could shed upwards of 400 calories in just one hour with this powerful cardio activity. Try some of these top-rated trails across the country during your next weekend adventure.
Kayaking is a great way to enjoy the water without getting wet (well, hopefully!) This low-impact but high-intensity activity reduces the risk of joint and tissue injury while working your legs, torso, and arm muscles. The paddling motion against the water is mainly powered by torso rotation and applying pressure with the legs, but your arms will surely feel the burn the next day too!
As well as being arguably the best eco-friendly mode of transportation out there, vigorous biking will tone your lower body muscles while also protecting them. This invigorating sport is gentle on joints and cartilage; that’s why it’s recommended for those with aching feet, knees, backs, and impact-related injuries. It doesn’t matter if you have a top-of-the-line race bike or the old reliable one you’ve had since college… make biking a habit this summer!
And remember, no matter what activity you choose, always refuel your body after workouts in the sun. Grab a bottle of cold water and a bag of Raise The Bar-BQ packed with protein and fiber, the perfect post-workout combo!