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Great Outdoor Activities That Can Count As A Workout

Some are pretty intense and fun!


Calories burned: Around 400 an hour

You'll get an excellent cardio, leg, ab, and butt workout from this, thanks to the slopes and the long way to the top. What's great about hiking is that it doesn't really feel so much of a workoutit's exhausting and difficultbut the sights, smells, and sounds of the environment will take your mind off of your aching muscles.

Before you hike, make sure you've trained and packed for it, and researched on the mountain so you have an idea of what the trail and slopes are like. Don't hesitate to have a walking stick with you for support and balance.


Calories burned: 323 calories (brisk walking)

This is the least you can do for your fitness. If you want to lose weight, walk for an hour every day.

Walking for half an hour for five days a week helps prevent chronic diseases. It lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

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Calories burned: Around 472 (at 8 kph)

This good cardio workout targets the hamstrings, the muscles at the back of your thighs. If you want leaner legs, this one's for you. It's one of the best exercises for losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.

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Biking or cycling

Calories burned: 500 to 700 an hour, depending on your speed and the terrain

This is another good cardio workout that tones the legs and the butt. While running tones the hamstrings, cycling tones the quadriceps, the muscles at the front of your thighs.

If you really want to improve your endurance and build your cardiovascular fitness, bike for at least 22 minutes a day.


Calories burned: 400 to 600 calories an hour (freestyle)

Unlike running, swimming increases your stamina, builds your muscle strength, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and is easy on the joints. It's the only sport that tones all your limbs and keeps you refreshed.

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Calories burned: 340 per hour

This sculpts your upper body since you work your core, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps against the water.

It's best to take a class or seminar before you go kayaking so you can learn how to pabble properly, read the river, and avoid or get your kayak out of the rocks. 

Standup paddleboarding

Calories burned: At least 246 per hour

This benefits your core, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps the same way kayaking does, but the great thing about standup paddleboarding is that it works your leg muscles too. Since you're up on a board, you're using your quads, hams, and glutes to keep yourself balanced.


Calories burned: At least 490 per hour

This is an upper- and lower-body workout that's good for your core. You're going to need a lot of arm strength to pull your body onto the water, and while you're at it, your legs and core muscles are being used as you balance leaning back. It's like a prolonged wall sit, and just a few seconds of that already exhausts your muscles.

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Calories burned: 250 per hour

This is a good core workout since you put your upper body forward and keep it extended. It develops muscular endurance since your quads are flexed for the most part (if you're already good at surfing), and flexibility and strength since you'll be rotating your upper body when you make your turns. If you still can't balance on the surfboard, don't worry: Your paddling to the waves strengthens your arm, chest, and shoulder muscles.

* Calories burned are estimated based on a 150-pound person.

Sources: WebMD, Men's Fitness, Better Health, NHS, Outside, Prevention, Active

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