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SHANNONY84's Photo SHANNONY84 SparkPoints: (23,666)
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5/5/13 2:46 A

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Whether you’ve been working out all winter or just coming out of hibernation, spring is a great time to start or step up your activity. We know the key to success with any fitness program is consistency. How about taking the work out of exercise and returning to play?

So many activities we did as kids can still be surprisingly fun and serve double duty for fitness. Check out these three ways to redefine your fitness.

Play like a Kid

We’ve turned so many of the fun activities we did as kids into formal fitness programs – skipping, cycling, trampoline and, yes, even hula hooping! Although you may burn more calories per minute with those structured fitness programs, you may be able to reap more net rewards from recreation!

First, it’s free! Consider putting your fitness membership on "hold" and heading outside more this summer. You also get to spend more time with family and friends. And, because its recreation rather than a workout, you may end up being active longe netting more calories burned.

Golf is a great example as some people still question calling it a "sport." You may only burn about 200-300 calories an hour but if you’re walking with your clubs, you can end up burning 1,200-1,500 calories at the end of 18 holes – that’s double what you’d sweat off in an average spin class!

Here are a few more fun favourites:


Just for Fun

Focused on Fitness


6 cal/min = 100/30 min

13 cal/min = 390/30 min+

hula hoops

4 cal/min = 120/30 min

7 cal/min = 210/30 min

roller skating/inline skating

7 cal/min = 230/30 min

11 cal/min = 330/30 min+


4 cal/min = 120/30 min

10 cal/min = 300/30 min+

trampoline – back yard, indoor centres, classes

4 cal/min = 120/30 min

7 cal/min = 210/30 min+

climbing - outdoor trees to indoor walls

4 cal/min = 120/30 min

12 cal/min = 360/30 min+

mini putt or a round of golf (walking)

3 cal/min = 90/30 min

5 cal/min = 150/30 min

Team Up

We’re now seeing a resurgence of recreational leagues for all ages with options for both the casual and competitive athlete. These are outstanding options for fitness as well because it’s fun and functional time. Weekly schedules make you accountable which help with consistency. You also tend to play longer than you’d workout so more calories burned. Most importantly, it contributes to long term success because it becomes a change in your lifestyle supported by family and friends versus trying to squeeze in workouts on top of an already busy schedule.

You may want to revisit some of your favourites or try something new!


Just for Fun

Focused on Fitness






3.5 cal/min = 105/30 min

7.2 cal/min = 215/30 min

6 cal/min = 180/30 min

8 ca/min = 250/30 min

8 cal/min = 250/30 min

9.5 cal/min = 285/30 min+

9.5 cal/min = 285/30 min+

9 cal/min = 279/30 min

12 cal/min = 360/30 min

12 cal/min = 360/30 min

Another option for parents who are summer chauffeurs and don’t have time for their own teams…fit YOUR exercise in while you’re waiting for kids at practices and games

walk it off – walk and move during practice – still see your kids but use the calorie-burning time
do bleacher circuits – the stands make GREAT props for lunges, push-ups and dips
jump in – coaches often appreciate a hand chasing down balls, bats, kids!

Get out!

The first step to take is…out! We always encourage variety to avoid plateaus and keep your motivation and metabolism revving high. Spring and summer offer so many options to add a breath of fresh air for our fitness routines. Take full advantage of special events and activities the season has to offer.

For fresh air:

take a stroll or walk to the store – burns 100 cal plus gets you away from the fridge
gardening – burns about 4-5 cal/min plus moves your muscles
Tai Chi in the park – focuses on muscles, coordination and flexibility
park further from work or get off the bus – so doable with warmer weather and can burn an extra 400-500 cal/week

For charity:

Climbing events – your local tall tower
Marathon events – which always include 1/2, 10k, 5k and walk options
Down and dirty events - Tough Mudders, Spartan races and Zombie runs

Signing up for a charity event gives you purpose, a goal and a deadline – all great ways to boost your motivation and your success.

Make the most of your summer and keep up your fitness by making play your exercise of choice!

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