Season of Sweat

Posted October 3, 2007 in Mind Body Spirit

It’s bathing suit season again, which means a whole lot more flesh exposure, but also a whole lot more exposure to ice cream, snow cones, margaritas, burgers, fries and more, whether you’re at home, at parties, at amusement parks, at the beach or by the pool. These yummy treats are a delightful and necessary part of summer, but they can sure pack on the pounds, making you a lot less confident in your new thong.

So what to do if you want your fresh strawberry shortcake and to eat it to? Get exercise, of course. But don’t worry—sometimes working out can feel remarkably like play. This week the Weekly has waist-whittling suggestions for having fun in the sun. Just make sure you slather on the sunscreen.



Surfing is the quintessential SoCal sport, and a great way to enjoy the ocean while also sculpting all the major and minor muscles in your shoulders, back and legs. Boogying on your board also provides an aerobic workout and improves your balance, plus everyone will think you’re totally radical. One hour of surfing will burn about 204 calories, which is just about equal to the number of calories in a small order of McDonald’s French fries.



This paddle sport is the perfect activity for those who want to strengthen and define their upper body. As you glide through the water, your shoulders, arms and lats are in constant motion. These muscles work extra hard because they’re fighting the resistance of the water. One hour of kayaking will burn about 340 calories, an equal number to the calorie count in a reasonably-sized margarita. And it’s a great way to explore rivers, lakes and oceans.



Requiring little-to-no equipment and relatively easy to do, hiking works your abs, hips, buttocks and all the leg muscles, including the calves, quadriceps and hamstrings, and strengthens your bones and joints. Even better, being out in nature can improve your mental health. One hour of cross-country hiking will burn about 408 calories, the equivalent of eating about one cup of ice cream.



The motions involved in swimming, combined with the effort it takes to keep afloat, make swimming a fantastic whole-body workout. The cardio is kick-ass, but you also utilize your triceps, deltoids, lats, glutes, hip flexors and core. One hour of swimming will burn about 544 calories, which is equal to one snow cone. (Yes, just one snow cone. It’s shocking, but a 12-ounce snow cone uses about six ounces of syrup, at 80-100 calories per ounce.) Keep in mind, however, that we’re talking about serious swimming, not a leisurely game of Marco Polo in your neighbor’s pool. But on a 100-degree day, lots of laps in the cool water won’t sound that bad.



A sport most people can play their entire life, tennis tones your biceps, triceps, forearms, shoulders, core, calves, hamstrings and quadriceps, and is both aerobic and anaerobic. Also, because playing requires at least two people, it’s a great way to spend quality time with your summer crush. One hour of tennis will burn about 544 calories, which will just about get you a Big Mac (but you’ll have to hold the cheese).

Calorie counts are determined by and are calculated based on a 150-pound person. If you weigh more, you’ll burn a little more; if you weigh less, you’ll burn a little less.






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