Though summer might be halfway gone, it’s not too late to take advantage of the great outdoors and enjoy the second half of everyone’s favorite season. We’ve rounded up some popular outdoor activities plus their benefits and calorie burn. Which piques your interest?
When it comes to exercising outdoors, hiking is one of the first activities to come to mind. It’s not just challenging, it’s also a wonderful way to reach new views and heights (literally!). It’s surprisingly aerobic, getting your heart rate up, in addition to lowering blood pressure and increasing bone density.
Hiking can also improve your problem-solving and creative skills due to the challenges of navigation. And it’s no surprise that just being out in nature elevates happiness levels and can even alleviate symptoms of depression.
The physical challenge of hiking varies by elevation and pack weight, but just an hour of hiking can burn up to 500 calories!
It’s always fun to watch the summer tennis tournaments on TV, but have you tried the sport yourself? Tennis is a challenging but fun sport that the whole family can enjoy. If you’re going solo, look for a weekly group at a public court or pool club to join that will be both strenuous and welcoming.
As a sport, tennis breeds optimism and self-esteem. It creates great coordination and fine motor skills as well. Tennis players are not only extremely strong in their arms and legs, but also possess more power when it comes to fast-twitch reactions (fast-twitch muscle fibers are used during short bouts of high-power movements, like sprinting to a tennis ball).
Calories burned playing tennis depends on duration and intensity, but you can expect to burn around 300-500 calories for every hour played. Time to hit the court!
Jumping into the pool in the summertime is a super fun pastime for everyone. But you may not have realized just how many benefits lie in the water. Not only is swimming one of the most intense aerobic exercises out there, it also targets muscles in a way that no other sport can.
Swimming, much like running, can be treated as steady-state cardio (doing cardio for more than 20 minutes at a time at a consistent rate), in the case of swimming laps (competitive swimming is more like sprinting). As a result, your cardiovascular and endurance abilities will greatly increase.
Because of water’s buoyancy, swimming is a “lifetime activity,” meaning people of any age can benefit from recreational swimming, because it’s not a high-impact sport. So no matter where you are in life, it’s never too late to pick up swimming. Grab a suit and jump in!