“Have a sweaty summer!”

Hooray…school’s out! Long evenings, pool parties, lie-ins – there’s just something so special about the summer months. Many of us set goals of ‘being fit for summer’, or ‘having Pinterest-worthy summer workout plans’. Others simply sunbathe and snore their way through the summertime – I mean, we are teenagers after all; it’s what we do best! My favourite way to spend my summer is to get outside and get moving. Why not make the most of the weather and enjoy the freedom of being off school?! Here, I’ve put together 10 fun ways to keep active throughout your summer. By including the Calories Burnt category, I hope it helps to put things into perspective – however, please note that the amount of calories burnt will totally vary, depending on factors such as age, height, gender and weight. So, let’s get sweating!

1. Swimming

Benefits: I think this has to be top of my list for so many reasons! Swimming is a full-body workout, and all of your muscles are supported whilst you’re burning high amounts of calories. If I get an injury running, I always turn to swimming, as I’m not putting weight on any limbs. Front crawl is especially good for stretching you’re upper body, and I once read that breaststroke can help you to grow taller!

Calories burnt: 30 minutes of slow front crawl can burn up to 300 calories.

Frequency: Twice a week should help you to tone up!

2. Cycling

Benefits: My family is bike crazy, which means watching every major bike race on TV. We’re currently following Le Tour De France, known in our house as ‘The Tour’. Chris Froome’s yellow jersey soaring up the Alps definitely inspires me to get out on my Boardman cross bike. As the name suggests, it’s a cross between a road and a mountain bike, which allows me to travel at a decent speed on a variety of surfaces. Biking is a great cardio workout in that it gets your heart rate up and makes you out of breath, and it’s highly effective at strengthening leg muscles. Cycling is a low-impact sport, and if you include a few hills and push yourself beyond a leisurely pace, you can burn more calories than jogging. It’s also a great idea for a family day out (I have the photos to prove it).

Calories burnt: 1 hour can burn around 250 + calories.

Frequency: Two to three times a week.

3. Running

Benefits: Being such a huge fan of the sport, of course this has to be high up on my list. I love getting up early in the morning, and jumping outside for a run with the birds before breakfast. It’s a weight-bearing activity, which means it builds and strengthens your bones. Get out a map and explore different routes around your area. Remember to check out all my running posts on the blog to give you some tips!

Calories burnt: Up to 300 calories in 30 minutes of decent-paced jogging.

Frequency: Three times a week.

4. Tennis

Benefits: During the summer-time especially, tennis is undoubtedly my favourite sport. I can spend hours out in the sun whacking the ball back at my opponent, without realising how much running I’m doing, let alone how many calories I’m burning. It’s great for upper body, arm and leg strengthening, super cardio, and ‘exercises’ your mind as well as your body.

Calories burnt: 1 hour can burn up to 600 calories!

Frequency: Three times a week will provide excellent sweating.

5. Outdoor Gym/ Park

Benefits: First and foremost, it’s completely free and totally accessible! No gym membership or parking fees, not to mention saying goodbye to sweaty studios! Outdoor gyms are becoming increasingly popular, and even normal play parks can be doubled as gym machines. Studies have shown that many people also enjoy their workout more when they’re outside, I certainly enjoy messing about at the park with friends!

Calories burnt: 30 mins full-on workout can burn up to 300 calories.

Frequency: Three to four times a week will help you to build muscle.

6. Skipping

Benefits: Ever noticed that most seven-year olds are thin and energetic? A playground classic, skipping is used by many professional athletes – including football and basketball players – to keep fit. It has similar benefits to jogging: weight-bearing so improves bone density, cardiovascular so helps to improve heart rate and blood pressure, also burns large amounts of calories. Skipping is a full body workout that uses your abdominal muscles to balance, legs to jump, and arms and shoulders to swing the rope. It helps to improve muscles tone, balance co-ordination, and regular skipping can even increase flexibility.

Calories burnt: 1 hour can burn up to a whopping 1,300 calories! No wonder it’s a favourite of professional atheletes.

Frequency: Three times a week to get maximum benefits.

7. Hiking

Benefits: For me, every summer evening blessed with clear skies should be celebrated with a family hike – not forgetting the picnic of course! I think everyone can have a good go at this one, no matter what your levels of fitness. Uphill improves your muscle and cardiorespiratory fitness more intensely, it also comes with more rewarding views of the sunset! Regular hiking leads to: better bone health, less chance of becoming overweight or developing blood diseases, better mental health and a higher quality of sleep.

Calories burnt: 1 hour can burn up to 300 calories.

Frequency: 2.5 hours a week, or 20 minutes brisk walking a day is recommended.

8. Hula-hooping

Benefits: Another blast from the past, it’s no surprise that hula-hooping is an effective fat-burning workout. Hooping is a complete ab workout, let alone, a full-body workout. It intensely exercises all of your muscles, including the heart, a major muscle. Hooping improves spine strength and flexibility, thus decreasing chances of back injuries in the future – you don’t want to end up too immobile to walk as a senior, do you?! As a keen racket sport player, hand-eye coordination is vital to me – so, to discover that hula-hooping aids hand-eye co-ordination and motor skills, I was pleasantly surprised! Another benefit, which comes with pretty much every aerobic exercise to be honest, is a significant boost in your sense of happiness (it’s all about the endorphins!)

Calories burnt: 1 hour can burn up to 400 calories.

Frequency: 8-20 minutes a day can put you on the right track to killer abs!

9. Ultimate Frisbee/ Catch

Benefits: Having brothers, there’s always a frisbee in the boot of the car ready for an impromtu frisbee game! I’ve definitely improved with my accuracy – when I began I was dreadful, whereas now I can actually catch and throw it successfully. It’s a form of HIIT (more info at the end of this post) and increased agility. It’s another full body workout – no surprises there – as you squat into each catch and jump through your throws. More endorphins are released, which equals happiness!

Calories burnt: 30 minutes can burn up to 200 calories.

Frequency: Four times a week.

10. Water sports

Benefits: My love for canoeing, kayaking and rafting began during a school residential spent at a lake braving the waters. One of my dreams for the future is to buy a boat or some kind of inflatable craft. Whether it’s surfing, paddle boarding or sailing, water sports in general work out your whole body. Water helps you from tiring too quickly, so you can exercise for longer amounts of time. These activities rely on core strength for balance, hello six-pack! In addition, there is a low-impact resistance in water sports, so if you’re recovering from say a jogging injury, sailing can become your new BF.

Calories burnt: Varies depending on sport, on average around 400 calories per hour. Here’s a link to more exact figures.

Frequency: Two to three times a week.

A few tips for exercising in the heat:

  • HIIT – (High Intensity Interval Training) basically means that you train at your hardest for short amounts of time, before short amounts of rest. For example: 30 seconds training with a 10 second rest, doing 12 different exercises. Workout done in around 7 minutes, less time sweating and smelling!
  • Take your hardest sessions indoors, away from the heat.
  • Hydration, hydration, hydration! – If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Always bring a water bottle, and keep sipping throughout your workout.
  • Lightweight clothingAdidas have a climacool/chill range, something that’s designed to keep you cool is ideal, and they often have summer sales on a selection of their sportswear.

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