Enjoy some fun exercises with these summer activities that’ll take you back to your childhood.
When you were a child, the summer was dedicated to having a good time. Whether it was balmy evenings corralling the neighbourhood kids into a game of rounders, or tracing out a garden hopscotch course, little did you know these fun exercises were getting you fit without effort.
The good news is, it’s easy to recapture this sense of fun while toning up your whole body. For best results, involve others, as an American study found that those who exercised in a group had more fun – even more so when outdoors!
Fun exercises can get you fit
Whether it’s playing games on a family picnic, throwing a Frisbee on the beach, or just playing in the garden with the kids in your life, there are lots of ways to recapture that ‘school holidays’ spirit.
Plus, recalling a positive exercise experience makes you much more likely to work out again, according to another US study. So, try one of these activities for long-term benefits and a host of happy memories.
Whittle your waist with hula-hooping
If you’re looking for an ab-toning exercise that’s more interesting than crunches, hula-hooping could be for you. It burns around 165 calories per 30-minute session and uses your abdominals and hips while toning your waist. Just slip it up by your waist and whip it around (anti-clockwise for right-handers, clockwise for lefties), moving your waist in a circular motion. Push your stomach forwards when the hoop touches it, to help you find the rhythm. For an extra challenge, try a weighted hoop. This is easier to spin but really engages core muscles as they try to keep it up around your waist.
Tone your arms with fun exercises
Running, catching and throwing are great ways to get your heart pumping, as well as giving your arms a workout, especially when switching between forehand and backhand throws. Want more toning? Add in 10 push-ups every time you drop the disc.
Boost your heart rate with rounders
Interval training is great for cardiovascular health. You can burn around 300 calories an hour during a game of rounders, plus the variety of batting, bowling and fielding keeps your brain busy and makes the time whizz by. Increase your burn by playing on the beach – running on sand burns roughly 1.6 times more calories than on a hard surface.
Sculpt your bum with roller skating
Skating puts 50 per cent less stress on joints than running but still works all of your leg muscles and core, according to a study from the University of Massachusetts. Skating can also burn up to 600 calories an hour and tone your bum, as your glutes do the heavy lifting. Once you’ve got the hang of it, lower your body into more of a squat to challenge your balance and fire up your bum muscles.
Fire up your metabolism by skipping
Want to burn up to 1,600 calories an hour? Make like a boxer and grab your skipping rope for serious fat burning. There are lots of different ways to mix it up – look on YouTube for full workouts. We like the challenge of forward and backward skipping where you jump with feet together and double jumping. This involves trying to jump high enough that you bring the rope around twice before you land! Don’t forget to keep your abs engaged throughout for a core workout.