Summer’s here and that means backyard barbecues, trips to the beach and frozen treats. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun summer activities that can help you burn off that popsicle. Next time you hit the coast or your closest lake or river, try one of these water sports to burn some serious calories instead of lounging in the sand.
*Calorie burn based on 150-pound person doing 1 hour of activity.
Calories burned: 408
Summer is the perfect time to unleash your inner Michael Phelps — even moderate splashing around at the local watering hole torches serious calories. Up the ante and challenge yourself by swimming laps for an even bigger burn (up to 680 calories if you can make it through an hour of laps) and say hello to some seriously defined delts. Or try this simple half-hour workout.
Calories burned: 340
Kayaking is a super-versatile, total-body workout that targets a variety of muscle groups including your shoulders, back, chest, arms and core (staying steady on the water requires solid ab engagement). Even your legs get a bit of a workout as they help stabilize you, according to Men’s Journal.
Calories burned: 400
Just like spending a day on the mountain, taking your skills from the slopes to the waves is a real workout. Staying steady as you skim the surface engages your glutes, quads, calves, hamstrings and core. It’s also an awesome upper-body workout: Keeping yourself in the right position requires the same muscles you engage while doing pull-ups, according to Livestrong. An hour of shredding waves on water skis or a wakeboard can burn enough calories to earn you a slice of après-ski apple pie.
Calories burned: 210
Hitting the surf is a full-body burner. Paddling out against the waves lights up your abs, biceps, triceps and delts. Once you’re up, you’ll engage your entire lower body — especially the muscles in your hips — as you carve through the water. Hit the waves for an afternoon and you’ll earn a hot dog at the evening beach barbecue.
Calories burned: 430
If surfing and water skiing are too high-speed for you, you can still get a killer workout with SUP. Like a less intense version of surfing, you engage both your upper body and core with each stroke of your paddle, as well as your lower body to stay steady on the board. Grab a paddleboard and hit the waves — the rougher the waters, the more calories you’ll burn.
Calories burned: 480
Unlike other water sports, which engage major muscle groups, diving torches calories through one of your body’s vital processes: thermoregulation. According to Scuba Diver Life, your body naturally tries to stay at 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Dipping into colder waters means you have to burn more calories to keep the furnaces going — even the slightest variation in water temperature can kick your body into overdrive.
Calories burned: 340
This might seem like the ultimate summertime leisure activity, but if you’re the skipper, it’s a real workout. Manning a sailboat for an hour is a serious muscle toner — each time you have to raise or lower a sail, you’re engaging your shoulders, back and chest. Once on dry land, you can treat yourself to a piña colada with less guilt.