How to Burn 500 Calories on Your Next Beach Outing (Without Sacrificing the Fun)


- By Caila Ball

More than just a an inspiration for working out in the cold winter months, beach season is also a prime time to fill with fitness. While the beach is merely a location to lounge for some, it can be a destination for calorie burning – and fun – workouts for fitness enthusiasts.

Is there a beach day in your near future? Maximize the calorie-torching potential that the sand and waves have to offer with these five ways to burn 500 calories* (while still having a blast)

1. Work It Like a Personal Ad

While you should shy away from adding “long walks on the beach” to any online dating profiles, walking in soft sand burns almost twice the amount of calories as walking the same distance on a flat surface. Activate your stabilizer muscles, and burn up to 350 calories in an hour of very brisk walking on soft sand. Get past your 500-calorie goal with a half hour of ocean swimming for another 175 calories. Want to get to 500 calories without a swim? Challenge yourself to a 40-minute run on soft sand to burn upwards of 530 calories.

2. Channel Your Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings

There’s a reason Olympic gold medal winning beach volleyball partners look so great (ok: years of Olympic training worth of reasons). Sand’s natural resistance gives beach volleyball a high calorie burn rate. Get a team together for an hour of volleyball gameplay, and score a burn of 500 calories!

3. Dry Land Competition

Even small groups can burn calories with beach competitions. 30 minutes of beach racquetball with a partner will have you burning 200 calories (potentially more, if you find yourself running after the ball more than hitting it!). Keep the competition going with a friendly round of handball, which will burn over 350 calories in 30 minutes.

4. Water Fun

There’s an entire ocean in front of you: put it to work! Either grab a kayak to burn 250 calories during 45 minutes of ocean kayaking, or tone your core and arms stand up paddle boarding for 30 minutes to burn 250 calories. After that, channel your inner child for an hour of Boogie Boarding to burn another 250 calories. Not equipped with a boogie board? No problem! Jump in the waves to burn up to 300 calories in an hour.

5. Marine Biology

Step into your fins and strap on a snorkel mask: it’s time to get fit while exploring sea life. Whether or not you actually find Nemo, moving around for an hour and a half of snorkeling will burn up to 510 calories.

All this fun at the beach tends to distract from the sun. Make sure to load on the waterproof sports sunblock, and hydrate during all activities (even those in the water).

*Calorie estimates are based on a 150-pound woman. Exact calorie burn will vary based on weight, fitness level, workout intensity and heart rate.

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