By Vanessa Rush
If you’re looking to burn maximum calories, then why not have some hot fun in the summertime? The heat is definitely on, but if you’re doing something that you love, then it can seem like less of a workout and more of a good time. Break out of the air-conditioned gym for some great summer calorie burners.
You can knock out your cardio with some activities that are the perfect blend of fun and intensity, whether you’re taking a beach vacation, camping in the mountains or staying close to home – and the community pool.
Fitness pro Raphael Calzadilla recommends finding an activity that you love – when you enjoy it, you’ll work harder at it, he says. “The thing about exercise intensity is that the more you enjoy the activity, the more likely you’ll perform it with frequency and consistency. Also, if you don’t enjoy the activity, then you simply won’t do it at the level of intensity necessary,” Raphael says.
Before you start enjoying the great outdoors, be sure you have plenty of water to rehydrate. You may not feel thirsty, but you’ll sweat more outside doing high-intensity activities than you think. And even if you’re keeping cool in the water, you’ll still need to keep the inside of your body cool by drinking plenty of water.
Take it easy at first – gradually build your speed and intensity as you allow your body to get used to working out in hot weather. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, and don’t forget the sunscreen.
The versatility of being outside will make it a lot easier to find fun exercise activities. Here are some of Raphael’s favorite choices, based on fun and calorie-burning efficiency:
Beach Volleyball — 575 calories
Frisbee Tossing — 200 calories
Bicycling — 590 calories
Mountain Biking — 575 calories
Hiking — 400 calories
Horse Back Riding (Galloping) — 550 calories
Rollerblading — 475 calories
Swimming — 400 calories
Tennis (singles) — 400 calories
Tennis (doubles) — 280 calories
Surfing — 200 calories
*The values given for each activity are based on a 150-pound woman exercising at moderate intensity for one hour.
Maximize those values by making some tweaks in intensity. Use the terrain around you to make your workout more challenging. For example, a beach run or beach volleyball will burn more calories than one done on pavement, due to the uneven surface of the sand. Creating drag in the water while swimming laps will increase intensity as well. Biking up hills and on grass has the same effect.
Raphael says the effectiveness of cardio exercise all depends on intensity. “Cardio time is irrelevant to me if I have no way of analyzing not only the type of cardio and time performed — but also the degree of intensity. A leisurely stroll on a treadmill for an hour is not going to even come close to the calorie burn of 30 minutes of a high intensity run. The bottom line is that the type of cardio, time, and intensity all count when it comes to having the most efficient calorie-burning session.”
So get out there and enjoy the warm weather. Before you know it, you’ll be cooped up in the gym once again.