Summer Fun Reasons To Ditch The Gym

It’s difficult to shut yourself away in a gym when the sun in shining and the weather is warm. But don’t worry, you can skip the gym for this summer fun activities and still burn a decent amount of calories any time! Here are eight summer-inspired fitness reasons to ditch the gym (* keep in mind that the following average caloric burns are based on 150-pound, woman participant)…

Ultimate Frisbee

I’m a little biased because I play ultimate Frisbee with my coworkers. However, we can all attest to the phenomenal aerobic and heart-racing workout that Frisbee gives us every Thursday evening. In a mere hour game, we each burn about 550-calories each running up and down the ½ soccer field!


Hit the road, the beach, or the trail for a day of cycling in the sun. Or feel the wind in your hair or at your back as you commute to work or do errands. You’re not only doing your part to cut down on carbon emissions (by not driving an automobile)—you’re getting a great quad, thigh, and hamstring workout, and you’ll target the butt too if you take hills.


Just splashing around in the waves to cool off on a hot summer day will have you burning roughly 200-calories each hour you’re a mermaid. Not to mention, swimming offers a safe, low-impact workout for those with joint issues while toning the entire bikini-ready body.

Beach Volleyball

If you live near the beach, I don’t blame you on bit for moving your workout near the waves in the nicer weather months for a friendly game of beach volleyball. Not only is bunting and running on the sand a great cardio workout—the added resistance of running in sand will tone your legs, butt, and core—and burn almost 600-calories per hour of play.

Mowing the Lawn

As I quickly discovered when I bought my first house—you can consider lawn mowing a killer workout without any shame of skipping the gym. Mowing the lawn burns an impressive 400-calories per hour, particularly if your lawn has a hill!


You can tiptoe through the tulips for a little exercise. However, the act of gardening will burn roughly 280-calories per hour) and all of those strenuous squatting, bending and reaching motions to dig, weed, fertilize, pick, trim, and water plants will burn your butt, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and even your abdominals.

Canoeing or Kayaking

I can canoe, can you? Paddle sports by canoe or kayak offer a new vantage point by water, plus an excellent way to work out your arms and core muscles (the large muscle groups in your abdominals, hip flexors, and lower back). It’s no wonder the continuous, cardio-fueled (roughly 400-calories per hour) motion of paddling leaves most sporting belly shirts by summer’s end!


You will be claiming point and match when you consider the huge caloric burn (approximately 550-calories) per hour-long tennis game. In fact the cardio you’ll get from racing back and forth on the court is almost as great as the phenomenal impact and toning you’ll get in your upper (i.e., shoulders, biceps, triceps) and lower body (glutes and hamstrings).


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.