7 Fun Ways to Burn BIG Calories this Spring

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7 Fun Ways to Burn Big Calories this Spring

When the scenery is beautiful and the temperature perfect, almost any activity--including exercise--seems more fun and enjoyable. Here are 7 worthwhile pastimes that can help you get fit, burn calories and enjoy the outdoors this spring!

*All calorie counts based on a 145-pound woman; men and individuals who weigh more will burn more calories.

Tennis: 470 calories per hour

Even if you're not a pro, tennis is a fun sport for people of all ability levels. Racquets and a can of balls are inexpensive (about $25) at big box stores like Target or Wal-Mart, plus you can find used ones at spring garage sales or secondhand sporting goods stores, too. Whether your play with a friend, significant other, or by yourself (any large wall will do), you'll burn almost 500 calories per hour. Look for clinics this spring if you want lessons, or try the fitness class Cardio Tennis at a court or tennis club near you!

5K Race: 460-680 calories per race

Spring is the season for 5K races, as well as marathons, 10Ks and other distances. All the training leading up to the event is worth the great experience you'll have on race day! Check out SparkPeople's free 5K and 10K training programs to get started, or join a local running group to train for an upcoming race in your area! Walking at a 15-minute per mile pace, you'll burn 228 calories during a 5K; running at 6 miles per hour burns 341 calories for the same distance.

Gardening and Yard Work: 210-360 calories per hour

When you do yard work manually, without a motorized mower, hedger or blower, you'll increase the intensity and calorie burn. Gardening (and the planting, weeding and pruning that comes with it) is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors and take pride in your home's appearance. General yard work burns about 300 calories per hour--not a bad way to work out while you beautify your home!

Frisbee Golf: 220 calories per hour

You probably haven't played Frisbee golf or "disc golf" since gym class, but Frisbee golf is fun for kids and adults. Plus, it's an inexpensive pursuit. Most courses are free--you just have to know where to find them. The Professional Disc Golf Association's Website makes it easy to find the nearest of 2,875 U.S. courses, most of which are in local parks or college campuses. Expect to spend a couple hours walking and on your feet to complete a single course and to burn about 220 calories per hour.

Cycling: 270 calories per hour

A great low-impact alternative to walking, biking is a great way to return to the outdoors this spring. Many bike paths and trails are available in major cities and small towns alike. Whether your bike for transportation (to work or while running errands) or fun, you'll burn 270 calories per hour (at a 10 mph pace) and strengthen your legs and lungs at the same time! Get started with these bicycle safety tips.

Washing Your Car: 250 calories per hour

On the first few days of spring, you'll find motorcycles, convertibles, and scooters out in full force as drivers jump at the chance to bring out their "babies" for a spin after a long winter in hiding. You'll also see long lines at the car wash. There's something about spring that makes us want to clean up our cars. Save money and do it yourself by hand washing, drying and waxing your car at home (or at the DIY car wash instead of the automatic one). With a little elbow grease, she'll be shining in no time and you'll have burned 250 calories in an hour's time.

Trail Hiking: 400 calories per hour

Hiking is the perfect way to work out during spring. The uneven terrain and inclines you encounter on the trail force your body to work harder than walking on a flat surface. That means you're recruiting more muscle fibers (to adjust to the terrain) and challenging your balance (therefore engaging your core). That translates to a bigger calorie burn: 400 calories per hour, to be exact. Plus, the scenery, sounds and scents along the way are so beautiful that you'll forget you're huffing and puffing as you climb the hills!

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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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5/18/2015 1:32:17 AM

MAIA_CALM's SparkPage
Referring to cars as feminine, and calling them "babies" is sexist! Saying things like "she'll be shining in no time" is just what make men think of women as objects. Thanks for perpetuating the stereotype! I'd be interested to know if SparkPeople staff who are women earn the same as men and are promoted as frequently as the men.


5/15/2015 5:19:31 PM

ELLEMARI's SparkPage
I am going to start riding my bike to and from work I am adding a workout and saving time about two hours or so compared to public transit leave at 0430 tog et to work at 645 leave at 1630 to get home by 1930-1945 with my bike I can leave at 545 to get to work at 645 leave work at 430 get home at 6 save about 3 hours of cumute time and burn 540 calories a day


5/15/2015 2:56:31 PM

I cant go out and walk due to health reasons, so i either walk in my house or on tread mill.


5/15/2015 2:56:24 PM

I cant go out and walk due to health reasons, so i either walk in my house or on tread mill.


5/15/2015 2:55:34 PM

I cant go out and walk due to health reasons, so i either walk in my house or on tread mill.


5/15/2015 2:55:34 PM

I cant go out and walk due to health reasons, so i either walk in my house or on tread mill.


5/14/2015 2:46:33 PM

ELLIOTT's SparkPage
Great tips!


5/11/2015 11:25:19 PM

love walking my dog


5/7/2015 3:40:18 AM

Try a Volkswalk! It's a NON-competitive 5 or 10K. No race involved, just a bunch of fun people & you can go at your own pace.


5/5/2015 3:15:17 PM

DONELLE's SparkPage
Didn't realize that my love of gardening also was a great way to burn calories!


4/7/2015 10:18:08 PM

TAGSUIT2's SparkPage
I would love to do pool aerobics which will help with my RA this summer. I need to find some bargins. Lol


5/14/2014 5:53:02 PM

JOY73YL's SparkPage
I like interesting walks in the woods, fields, by streams.


5/9/2014 12:13:23 PM

WOO HOO! I love hiking! I'll go hiking over walking on level ground any day. It's much more interesting! And, surprisingly, going uphill is easier on my joints than going downhill!


5/7/2014 12:02:55 PM

ENRGEE's SparkPage
Gardening and burning calories surrounded by flowers. It doesn’t get any better.


5/6/2014 3:15:50 PM

After catching the "running bug" a few years ago, I'm now training someone brand new to running (and working out in general) to run their first 5k later this year. Fitness together with helping others is a great combination!

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