Looking to boost your calorie burn this summer? Want to shed the last bit of body fat so you can look killer in your bathing suit as you relax on the beach? Maybe you just want to enjoy the great weather of the summer months. Whatever your motivation happens to be, the summer is a great time to get outdoors and get some calorie burning in.
A bonus of taking your workouts outdoors is that it often means you’re going to work your muscles in a different manner than your conventional gym workout does, which can yield greater results. This is a fantastic way to help prevent a progress plateau, not to mention keep you mentally engaged in the workouts you’re doing.
If you’re looking for some outdoor activity suggestions, or want to know which activities deliver the best calorie-burning bang for your buck, we’re here to help. Check out these six options, all of which can torch 500 calories in a hurry.
If you’re someone who loves to get away from it all and spend a whole afternoon outside, rock climbing could be right up your ally. You’ll love the fact that when you’re out there, it’s just you, the rock, and the elements – no distractions around.
Rock climbing is an excellent way to work the upper body while also helping to clear your mind and combat stress.
The Fat Fighting Superpower:What makes rock climbing so beneficial for burning calories? The fact that you’ll be hitting both the upper and the lower body at once give it a powerful edge. Consider it a full body workout and be prepared to be quite sore the next day.
For safety, be sure to take a class or two with an expert if you’re new to rock climbing before heading outdoors. Or, if you prefer, do a few sessions on an indoor wall to get comfortable with the activity.
As an added bonus, this is one of the best core builders around, so could help you get a chiseled set of abs for the summer as well.
Burn 500 Calories In: 40-60 minutes depending on how intensely you’re climbing.*
Afraid of heights? Perhaps a water sport is more your style. Kayaking is another great alternative to hitting the gym that will help you soak up the warm weather while getting a workout in.
You might think that this would be a relatively easy activity given the fact that you’re sitting in the kayak the entire time, but don’t be misled. It’ll be one of the best upper body workouts you’ve ever experienced.
Kayaking is going to help strengthen your back, shoulders, arms, and chest, while working your core as well. Right from the very first minute you sit in the kayak you’ll see just how unstable it happens to be. It’s going to require great control on your part to keep yourself balanced and upright.
The Fat Fighting Superpower: The real fat fighting power of kayaking hits when you get out on open waters. With waves coming at you from all sides, your stabilization muscles are going to be working overtime and with this workout, your only option is to dial up the intensity. You’ll be forced into moving quickly and with great power in order to keep your head above water.
Burn 500 Calories In: 70 minutes*
Want to stick with a more traditional gym-style workout but still get outside and enjoy some fresh air? Consider a circuit training routine in the park. You can choose to bring a resistance band or just a set of dumbbells to keep things simple. Or, go the lower maintenance route and rely solely on your bodyweight.
Pair together interval sprints between park benches coupled with sets of your favorite strength boosting moves. Squats, push-ups, burpees, bench dips, bench step-ups, plank holds, and pull-ups if the park happens to have an overhead bar are all terrific options which can make for a challenging circuit.
The Fat Fighting Superpower:Circuit training which combines strength moves with cardio-based activities gives you the best of both worlds. It sparks the post-workout metabolic boost that interval training provides, and also assists with lean muscle mass development, which can help raise your metabolic rate permanently.
This two-in-one workout will also free up more of your time this season. During the summer months when social outings are more common, these dual-focused sessions can be your solution if getting to the gym daily isn’t top priority. This way, you can still work up a sweat and have more time for your other favorite summer activities.
Burn 500 Calories In: 45 minutes of intense circuit training*
Team sports can be a great way to burn fat, have fun, and be social this summer. Beach volleyball, a popular activity during the warm beach season months, is one that you’ll want to consider signing up for.
What’s unique about this activity is that it’ll work both your upper and lower body while hitting your core over time as it stabilizes you in the sand. This is another excellent way to get a great ab workout in without doing any crunches!
The Fat Fighting Superpower:The real fat fighting superpower of beach volleyball comes with the fact that it’s played on sand, which is going to add extra resistance as you move. This means any run or jump you take is going to require an extra boost of strength and power to complete.
Burn 500 Calories In: 50 minutes.* Note the calorie burn of this activity will vary greatly depending on how actively you’re playing.
Another activity that will have you heading into the great outdoors is hiking. Choose a scenic path around where you live and unplug from the busy pace of everyday life. In addition to the cardio challenge, you’ll work all the muscles in your lower body as you hike along the uneven terrain of the trail. Just be sure to wear proper footwear to avoid injury.
The Fat Fighting Superpower: Choose to carry a set of walking sticks and your calorie burn will get even higher. These add extra weight and resistance to the hike and will also get the upper body involved.
Burn 500 Calories In: 55 minutes*
One final suggestion to torch calories outdoors this summer is by hitting the local lake or outdoor pool and swimming some laps. Whether you like to freestyle, breaststroke, or do the butterfly, you can be sure that you’ll be burning up energy quickly as you carry out this workout session.
Best of all, swimming is another activity that will work both the lower as well as the upper body at the same time, doubling your calorie burn and helping give you a full body workout. Not to mention, swimming laps for time is an incredibly demanding activity on your cardiovascular system due to the full body recruitment and resistance of the water.
It’s the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer’s day. Just be sure to wear sunscreen as you go about this activity – the water doesn’t block the sun’s UV rays.
The Fat Fighting Superpower: What makes swimming extra challenging is the fact that the water acts as resistance for your muscles, so you’ll not only improve your cardiovascular fitness but boost your strength as well.
Burn 500 Calories In: 45-60 minutes depending on the intensity and the stroke of choice*
Don’t feel like you have to keep hitting the gym all summer long. If you crave the warm air of the summer season or want to get adventurous with your activities, take your fitness outside. It may just do you – and your body composition – a world of good.
*Note calorie estimations are given based on a 170 lb. individual.