Summer is officially upon us, and with all this sunshine and heat comes opportunities to vanquish both in the water. Whether it’s swimming laps in the pool, playing a sport or skiing around a lake, there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself out there. The best part: You can do so while burning a bunch of calories, which is great news considering we’re in the midst of backyard barbecue season.
Below we’ve rounded up 10 water-based sports to keep you active and burning calories all summer long.
*Each calorie estimate is based on a 150-pound person. For a more personalized total, plug your weight, activity and duration into the MyFitnessPal Exercise Database.
The stationary rower is great exercise, but it doesn’t provide the same scenery as piloting a vessel across a glassy lake. For that, try crew — it’s one of the best water-based workouts there is, and it will burn calories in a hurry.
If you’d like to take things up a notch, try water polo. All that swimming, treading water, catching and throwing works every muscle you’ve got, including your heart, to burn a ton of calories.
Ever seen an Olympic swimmer? They didn’t get those shredded bodies from sunbathing in a lounge chair. Swimming laps challenges your muscles and builds your cardio endurance, but it goes easy on your joints.
Standing still isn’t nearly as easy when you’re attempting to do so on a paddleboard, which engages your legs and core. Add the upright paddling, and your chest, shoulders and arms will join in the action as you make your way across the water.
Being pulled by a boat is a lot harder than it looks. To remain upright and well-positioned in the water while fighting choppy waves, you’ve got to engage your core and leg muscles. Meanwhile, your arms and shoulders get their own workout from holding onto the rope and navigating in and out of the wake.
Kayaking is more than just a fun mode of transportation; it’s also a great way to get some exercise. Your heart will benefit from the cardio, while your back, shoulders, arms and core work to keep you steady, propel you forward and navigate turns.
Swimming face down with a mask and fins is a great way to see fish and coral. Do it long enough, and you’ll burn some calories along the way, which is always a bonus when you’re on vacation.
They’re like regular aerobics, but in the water. That keeps things slow, steady and joint-friendly, while the added resistance gives your muscles something to push against.
Hopping up onto your board and riding waves requires a total-body effort. Maybe that’s why so many surfers seem to have that coveted beach body.
Set up a net in the pool and enlist some friends for a game of volleyball, and you’ll burn calories without even realizing it.