8 Summer Activities That Torch Major Calories

Article posted in: Fitness
Family playing on the beach

In July of 2004, Harvard Health published an article that lists dozens of everyday and exercise activities and calories burned in the process. For example, if you lift weights vigorously and you weigh 125 pounds, Harvard Health has calculated that you’ll burn 180 calories in 30 minutes. If you weigh 155 pounds, you’ll burn 223 calories in 30 minutes. And, if you weigh 185 pounds, you’ll burn 266 pounds after 30 minutes of exercise. But what about outside summer activities? After all: It’s summer. How do your favorite summer activities activities measure up? And what should you be doing to burn off even more calories?

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Read on to find out eight summer activities that torch MAJOR calories:

1. Running


Whether it’s early in the morning before the sun swelters the earth or late in the evening after a stressful day, running 7.5 mph (which is an eight-minute mile) for 30 minutes will burn 375 calories if you’re 125 pounds; 465 calories if you’re 155 pounds; or 555 calories if you’re 185 pounds. If you’re new to running, work your way up to this fast, consecutive pace. And, make sure you’re running in new shoes—specifically designed for running—to help avoid injury or discomfort. Drink plenty of water before and after your run, and take time to stretch. Stretching keeps muscles flexible, strong and healthy. Muscles shorten and tighten post-exercise. Without stretching they can be prone to strain or damage.

2. Bicycling

Bike rides

Imagine you’re cycling on a quiet, country road. Or maybe you’re on the boardwalk at your favorite beach. Not only are you relaxed, but you’re burning mega calories if you’re maintaining a 16-19 mph rate (360 for 125 pound person; 446 for 155 pound person; 533 for 185 pound person). Again, this is a quick pace and one that you may have to work towards if you’re new to riding. But your ride is only as hard as the way is steep, so plan accordingly. If you’re riding on the road, always follow local traffic laws—including coming to a stop at stop signs and red lights and using hand signals to change lanes. No matter where you’re riding, always wear a helmet.

3. Swimming


You’ve been waiting all winter to spend some time in the pool. Before you grab your floating lounge chair, why not take a quick swim? A 125 pound person can burn 330 calories, a 155 pound person can burn 409 calories, and a 185-lb person can burn 488 calories by doing the crawl or butterfly stroke for just half an hour. Swimming is wonderful for your body because the buoyancy of water supports you, taking painful strain off joints. Research has also found that swimming improves mental state and puts you in a better mood, according to Harvard Health.

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4. Rock Climbing

summer activities

Now, don’t let your imagination run away with you. You do not have to sheer a 180-degree rock face. You do not have to buy down-turned climbing shoes, harnesses, a helmet and the like (unless you want to). Bouldering (which takes you only as high as you can jump off comfortably) or even a difficult hike is what we have in mind with this type of exercise—especially if you’re a beginner. After 30 minutes of rock climbing, a 125 pound person can burn 330 calories, a 155 pound person can burn 409 calories and a 185 pound person burns 488 calories. Want to have a guide help you try something more intense? Look for climbing groups in your area on social media, visit an indoor climbing center, or do a simple Google search.

5. Scuba Diving

summer activities

You can go scuba diving anywhere: A local lake, the Jersey coast, the Caribbean Sea or even in a deep pool. And, you can rent equipment from a surf or scuba shop or perhaps even the hotel where you’re staying on vacation. Instruction is required for this recreational activity…you’ll need to learn everything from buoyancy to how to use oxygen tank. But once you’re ready to go and you’re exploring amazing underwater sights, you’ll hardly notice the work your body is doing to burn 210, 260 or 311 calories.

6. Water Skiing

summer activities

Are you noticing a theme here? Lots of these activities involve water and we picked them for a reason: 83 percent of vacationers prefer to be near the water, according a survey conducted by the Vacation Rental Management Association. It’s important to stay active on your summer vacation. And, if you’ve never tried some of these activities, you’ve got plenty of time on vacation to learn a new skill you can apply at home. Rent a boat (and a driver) to take you skiing or borrow a friend’s boat to try this activity. In 30 minutes, a 125 pound person burns 180 calories, a 155 pound person burns 223 calories and a 185 pound person burns 266 calories.

7. Mowing Lawn

summer activities

Mowing the lawn is one of those summer activities that has to be done, and at least you can burn 165, 205 or 244 calories in the process. Mind: You’ve got to use a push mower. You’ll be happy to know that laying sod, digging or gardening also burns a modest amount of calories, which makes tackling all these outdoor chores a little less burdensome. Do it all on a quiet Saturday and you’ll get in a great workout!

8. Playing with Kids

summer activities

We mean: Throwing your kids in the pool. We mean: Jumping on the trampoline. We mean: Playing soccer. In other words, doing playtime with “vigorous effort.” After just 30 minutes of being a great parent, you’ll also burn 150, 186 or 222 calories.