A Weekend Outdoor Trip with Your Friends
Outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and inline skating allow you to reap up to six times more fat-blasting, body-shaping benefits than cruising around the neighborhood on foot. And you don't have to be a hard-core athlete or fitness freak to get the most out of the five we're suggesting.
Top off your normal weekday exercise routine with one of these exhilarating weekend activities to get fit and firm fast and enjoy the company of your family and friends at the same time.
It burns at least 340 per hour and will give you a sculpted upper body. "Pulling the paddle against the water is great resistance," says 29-year-old Michelle Christensen of Baltimore, who spends summer weekends kayaking around the Chesapeake Bay. "You target your shoulders, triceps, biceps, back, and core." She added. Kayaking is like meditating on water, says Rhett Pruitt, a 34-year-old raft guide and recreational kayaker in Long Creek, SC. She opts for tranquil sea kayaking over exhilarating white water when she's craving peace and quiet. "Sea kayaking is not intimidating," she says. "You're just inches above the water—the perfect vantage point for taking in the abundant wildlife and sea life that you would never see otherwise." Beginners should use an open kayak or take a lesson to learn how to escape the kayak first.
Hiking can improve cardiovascular fitness and will burn up to 400 per hour. "There's a lot of lung cancer in my family," says 49-year-old hiker Lynn Anderson, from Helena, MT. "It's always been a priority to keep my lungs in tip-top shape." Hiking will also give you stronger, leaner thighs and firm your rear to boot. You get to unplug from society. Hiker Lori Pfankuch, 47, who traverses Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana, says: "Hiking takes you out of your world so you can reflect. I've seen mountain goats, I eat huckleberries on the trail, and last summer I saw my first grizzly bear." Invest in a good pair of boots or trail and be sure to break them in by wearing them on errands before you hike.
This new game is a cross between racquetball, badminton, and tennis but with no nets or walls involved. Players bat a speeder which looks like the birdie used in badminton back and forth using lightweight racquets. It can also burn about 400 calories per hour. "If you can swing a racquet, you can learn to play, and it's great cardio," says 30-year-old Christina Higgins of San Diego, mother to a newborn and a toddler. "The results are similar to those in tennis--sculpted arms and back, toned legs, and better hand-eye coordination.” "Our neighbors introduced my husband and me to the game, so now we all play in our cul-de-sac," Higgins says. "The speeder glows, so we can even play well into the night." Pack chalk to draw a court, and remember: It's just a game.
500 to 700 calories per hour can be burned, depending on speed and terrain. It improves cardiovascular fitness give you solid legs and buns. "It helped me lose 20 pounds!" says Jan Reeves, 49, a recreational cyclist and mother of four in Lexington, KY. “And I eat whatever I want." Cycling will give you more zip, both on and off the bike. "My kids told me I needed to get a life," says Reeves, who started cycling as a way to meet people after her divorce. When she completed a 4-day, 300-mile cycling trip last fall, she felt "totally empowered and energized; my kids are really proud that I ride." Spandex can be unflattering, but it makes a huge difference when cycling. Cycle shorts provide padding and wick away moisture, preventing your rear end, legs and crotch from getting chafed.
Inline Skating sculpts your buns and thighs without pounding your knees. Skating is much less jarring than other high-intensity sports like jogging. "I was a runner for years but switched to skating when running started to hurt," says Joanne Geveshausen, 48, of Winchester, KY.
It also provides a high-adrenaline release from mental baggage. "I needed an activity that demanded total concentration and the gym wasn't cutting it," says Phyllis Wolf, 62, of Chicago, who started skating 4 years ago as a way to deal with the stress of caring for elderly relatives. "I skate for hours then go to the senior center and nothing bothers me."
Don't be intimidated. "Few people my age are skating, which is too bad," says the self-proclaimed speedster. Wolf's advice is to ease into it by taking lessons. Inline Skating also burns up to 816 calories per hour.