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5 Great Summer Outdoor Fitness Activities

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The summer months have finally arrived, and it’s time to take your fitness routine outdoors. Here are five great outdoor activities to get you started and fit while the sun is shining, and the temperatures are warm. Check out how many calories you can use up while having fun and being outside all at once.

Hiking – An excellent way to stay fit and to enjoy the outdoors, hiking is probably best for locations outside of the city, but there are many urban parks that provide easy and strenuous hiking trails. Alley Pond and Cunningham Parks in Queens are great for getting off trail and doing great hikes or even a bit of cross country running. Be sure to stretch and plan on working out your legs and gluts (especially if you add a weighted backpack for extra muscle building). An hour will burn up about 442 calories but will likely provide you with views of forests, birds and other woodsy creatures.

Kayaking – The Long Island Sound and many of the rivers around Manhattan are scenic venues to get outdoors and burn off about 340 calories each hour of paddling. You’ll be building upper body strength and muscles while you’re at it too. The Sebago Canoe Club in Brooklyn is a great volunteer organization that sets up events for rowing, kayaking, or canoeing.

Volleyball – Whether at the beach or in a park, volleyball is one of summer’s best sports. There are a lot of company teams and other organizations that will provide you with a venue and teammates. For example, the NY Urban Professionals have a volleyball league that is one of the most popular in the city. While you’re meeting new people and having fun, you’ll use up about 544 calories and increase arm, leg, chest and ab tone and form.

Tennis – There are a lot of well-kept outdoor courts to play day and night in New York City. You can find courts in all 5 boroughs. Here’s a link to the city’s park and recreation’s tennis site. A 150 pound person would likely burn about 544 calories an hour playing this sport. Tennis is great for building coordination and strengthening arms, shoulders and back muscles.

Swimming – You can swim in a pool or at the beach if you want to add some extra “current” to your swimming workout. If you venture out to Coney Island or Jones Beach on Long Island, there should be able space for you to practice your strokes. Don’t forget the many public and private pools as well located throughout the city. Swimming is great for cardio, strengthening arms, legs, and shoulders. Expect to burn up about 476 calories doing an hour of swimming.

-- Kevin Feather

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