5 Fun-in-the-sun fitness activities
There's no law that confines fitness to the gym, so why keep hitting the treadmill when the great outdoors is calling? Go ahead and head outside to take part in these calorie-blasting, fun-in-the-sun fitness activities.
Grab a few of your friends and head outside for a friendly (or not so friendly) game of volleyball! Whether you choose to play in the sand, on the grass or even in the pool, volleyball requires full-body movements in every plane of motion. One minute you'll find yourself diving for the ball while the next minute you'll be leaping into the air to place a point-winning spike. An hour of volleyball will burn between 240 and 300 calories on a 150-pound frame, but you'll be having so much fun, you won't want to stop at just an hour!
Your kids want to hit the playground this summer, and so should you! Playgrounds provide you with all the tools you need to get a killer workout without the confinement of a gym. Jog the park's perimeter to get warmed up, then use the steps or benches to do split squats, use the railings to do assisted pull-ups, place your hands on a swing to do balance-challenging push-ups and climb up and down the ladders for a full-body workout. Use your creativity to come up with more ideas based on the equipment you have available.
Summertime is race season, so if you've been toying with the idea of participating in a race or fun run, now's the time to sign up. The best part is that more and more races are focused on providing an awesome experience for participants of all ability levels, rather than focusing only on speed and times. Check out just a few of the fun theme races worth signing up for:
- The Color Run: A 5K run or walk where participants are doused with all-natural, 100-percent safe color dust at every kilometer marker.
- Run for your Lives: A cross between a race and a horror film, Run for Your Lives participants are "chased" by zombies as they cross a 5K distance that takes them through man-made obstacles while they try to protect their "health" (flag belts) from zombies in pursuit.
- Disney Princess Half Marathon: If you've always imagined yourself a Disney Princess, the Disney Princess Half Marathon is the race for you. Bringing together women from across the country and around the world, this run has many participants dressing up as their favorite princess as they wind their way through the most magical place on earth.
Anything on wheels
Bicycles, long boards and rollerblades, oh my! Choosing a workout on wheels adds a bit of thrill to any outdoor experience. Rent a tandem bike and ride along the boardwalk while at the beach. Brush off your inline skates and take a spin around the neighborhood. You'll enjoy the speed and the wind blowing through your hair. Plus, it's great exercise! Wheeled workouts require balance and coordination in addition to cardiovascular endurance. In fact, a 150-pound woman can expect to burn about 600 calories an hour when engaging in skating or cycling exercises.
Ever wish you could exercise while sitting still? Try horseback riding! While you may not find yourself huffing and puffing as you ride down the trail, you will be surprised at how sore you feel the next day. Horseback riding requires balance, coordination and core strength as your body continually adjusts to the movements of the animal. Plus, it also requires leg strength, particularly when moving at faster speeds. According to the HealthStatus.com calorie calculator, a 150-pound individual can expect to burn between 170 and 550 calories per hour when riding a horse, depending on the gait of the animal (walk, trot or gallop). Sign up for a series of riding lessons or a vacation trail riding tour when you're tired of feeling cooped up inside.