12 Fun Ways to Burn Calories This Summer

And None of Them Take Place in a Gym

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I’ve said it before — I’m not a big fan of exercise. So any time I can make exercise more fun — especially to the point where it doesn’t feel like I’m exercising — I’m all for it.

In the winter, we’re pretty limited with our exercise choices. For me, most of my workouts take place in the gym. But in the summer, we’re not quite as limited. Sure, I’ll still do most of my workouts in the gym, but I don’t have to be cooped up in there for the whole summer.

With warmer weather comes the opportunity to spend more time outside. And the outdoors can be a great place to get in a workout. You probably already spend a lot of time doing summer activities outside, but did you know you’re burning calories as you do them?

Summer’s right around the corner, and with it comes barbecues, parties and vacations. And while temptation is all around, that doesn’t mean weight loss needs to take a backseat. You can still stay on track and burn calories this summer — and enjoy doing it!

Here are my favorite summer activities that will help you lose weight — and how many calories* you can expect to lose while doing them:

1. Go sightseeing

I love visiting new places, and when you’ve got a lot to see in a short period of time, there’s bound to be a lot of walking! Whenever I’m planning a trip, I make a list of all the sights I want to see and map out the best way to hit them all.

But you don’t have to wait to go on a trip to go sightseeing. Try being a tourist in your own town. There’s probably plenty to see, and you’re sure to have such a great time walking outside that you won’t even notice all the calories you’re burning.

Calories burned: 102 (Walking leisurely at a 2.5 mph pace)

2. Surf’s up!

I can’t really recommend this one myself since I’ve never done it, but it seems to me like it would be a fun activity to try! Next time you’re at the beach, consider picking up a board and hitting the waves. And if you’re lucky enough to live on the coast, maybe this is already an activity you enjoy doing. Either way, you’ll get in some exercise while you surf.

Calories burned: 102

3. Walk the dog

I’m a big fan of walking. In fact, I walk myself to work and back every day. It’s nice to get outside, and I know I’m working my body while I do it. I don’t have a dog, but if I did, I know I’d probably enjoy talking him on walks. So don’t look at walking your dog as a chore. Think of it as an opportunity to soak up some sunshine and burn calories at the same time.

Calories burned: 130

4. Do some gardening

Right now, I live in a small one-bedroom apartment that doesn’t even have a balcony. So my gardening is limited to one small plant in a pot on the windowsill. But if you have a yard, patio or even a balcony, you have the chance to do some real gardening — and burn calories while you do it. You’ll put in some hard work, and you’ll get the added bonus of reaping what you sow — whether it’s fresh vegetables or beautiful flowers.

Calories burned: 136

5. Go for a bike ride

Whether you own your own bike or not, a bike ride is a fun and easy way to stay active. Most cities have a rental bike system — I know there’s a rack of bikes around the corner from my house. It’s an inexpensive way to spend an afternoon, and it’s even more fun to do as a group. So grab your partner, friend or even your whole family, and find the nearest bike trail.

Calories burned: 136

6. Do a round of golf

I’m more of a mini-golf fan than regular golf, but if you’re into it, by all means, swing those clubs! Golf is a great activity to do on a nice day, and it’s even better with friends. And if you want to burn even more calories, ditch the golf cart and start walking to your next hole.

Calories burned: 161

7. Kayak down the river

I’m lucky enough to live in a city that’s right on the river, but if there’s no body of water near you, you may need to travel to do this one. You also don’t need to have your own kayak. There are plenty of places that will rent them to you. Enlist a friend to join you in a double kayak or go it alone in a single. Either way, you’re sure to feel a burn in your arms after you’re done.

Calories burned: 170

8. Mow the lawn

Don’t look at your summer chores like mowing the lawn as work. They’re actually a great way to get some exercise in. Your lawn needs a trim anyway, so you might as well put your back into it and get it done instead of paying someone else to do it for you.

Calories burned: 196

9. Go for a swim

I’ve never been one of those people who goes to the beach just to lay in the sun. If I’m on the beach or at the pool, I need to get in the water. Swimming is probably my favorite activity on this list. Especially on hot days, swimming feels so refreshing. Plus, the best part is you can work up a sweat while doing it and not even feel it!

Calories burned: 204

10. Take a hike

If you’re into the outdoors and love nature, a hike is the perfect form of exercise. It’s a great way to disconnect from daily life and unwind in a relaxing environment. Take it one step further and plan a whole camping trip this summer. You can hike during the day and relax by the campfire at night.

Calories burned: 242

11. Play beach volleyball

Next time you’re at the beach, don’t just sit around suntanning the whole time. Get up and get active instead! Grab a group of friends and start a game of volleyball. You’ll be laughing and having fun in no time. Plus, the best part is when you get hot, you can go cool off in the water.

Calories burned: 272

12. Run for it

Running is probably my least favorite form of exercise — but it’s exponentially worse when you’re stuck doing it on a treadmill. In the summer, you can take your run outside and get some fresh air while you work out. Better yet — take it to the beach! Running on sand will burn more calories than running on pavement or a treadmill.

Calories burned: 272 (running at a 5 mph pace)

*Calories burned estimates are according to MyFitnessPal and are based on a 150-pound woman performing the activity for 30 minutes.

What’s your favorite way to work out in the summer? Let me know in the comments!

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