Summer calorie-blasting workouts

Well, it's almost that time of year and though there's a snowfall warning in my frozen neck of the woods, I'm not letting that deter from the fact that it is almost summer. Glorious, warm, beautiful summer. You know what that means? I can finally trade my in-gym elliptical training and treadmilling for some working out in the great outdoors. Not that I don't love the headache-inducing fluorescent-light glow of the gym, but the sun is just so much better. Even if it's not air-conditioned in the park, I'll take the outdoors any day.

To mark the beginning of blossoms and warm weather, Yahoo Health has come up with a list of great calorie-burning exercises that are made for the outdoors. Do yourself a favour and save a day in the summer for each of these. Let's review their suggestions:

Summer calorie-blasting workouts

Kayaking burns around 340 calories an hour. It's tough paddling that little boat. One of the best things about kayaking is that you can do it on a really hot day ... in fact, it's better on a really hot day, when the water -- which can be chilly here in the rocky mountains -- is refreshingly cool.

Hiking is a great way to see the outdoors and spend time with your family or friends. Hiking burns up to 400 calories an hour, and it's easy to pass a few hours without realizing it when your passing amazing scenery and chatting away. Why not pack a picnic lunch in a backpack and make a whole day of it?

Rollerblading is an easy a fun way to enjoy a day by the river or around your neighbourhood. I've never rollerbladed but I might try because not only does it burn up to 860 calories an hour, it's a good cardio workout that doesn't damage your knees like jogging does. I'll need some practice first though, preferably away from traffic.

Biking is another great summer pastime. Growing up, every day of my summer vacation was spent on my bike, riding around the neighbourhood with my friends, to the pool, to the convenience store -- basically all the places I take my car to now. Biking can burn up to 700 calories if you're going up and down mountains, but for my urban cycling, I'll more likely spend 500 calories. I'm not into that extreme pummeling-down-the-side-of-a-cliff cycling, but my goal for the summer is to go back to my childhood and cycle all places that aren't too far -- it's environmentally friendly, cost effective and good for my waistline.

Speedminton is a new one to me. Apparently, it's like all your favourite racquet sports rolled into one, but with lightweight racquets and without nets. The best part? You can set up a 'court' anywhere. Supposedly it's a good cardio workout that also sculpts your shoulders. It's also said to be fun, but I wouldn't know. Do you?

What activities are you planning this summer?

Mohammed khalf
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writer and blogger, founder of Go motivations .

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