As the cold weather begins to fade in our memories, many of us become more active as outdoor activities become a little more appealing.

Strolling downtown, riding bikes and gardening are great ways to enjoy the summer months and get our daily exercise. But have you ever wondered how many calories you’re actually burning while enjoying the sunshine?

The health benefits to these seemingly relaxing activities are real and help you shed weight and burn calories. By adding extra time or exertion to these activities you can burn as many calories as you would with a trip to the gym.

Fitness expert Shawna Kaminski, owner of Calgary North West Adventure Bootcamp, says that there are lots of ways to further intensify your favourite summer activities to burn even more calories and increase your strength and endurance.

“When moms are at the park with the kids, do push-ups, pull-ups or squats,” says Kaminski. “If you see a park bench, do step-ups. There’s more you can do than just a run.”

According to caloriesperhour.com, a website devoted to calculating calories burned per hour for almost any activity you can think of, a leisurely bike ride with your family can burn between 200 and 300 calories per hour. If you step up the intensity to a moderately tough ride, that number increases to more than 500 calories per hour.

Beach games such as Frisbee can burn up to 200 calories per hour, and an hour of golf will burn a whopping 350 calories.

Strolling downtown and popping into your favourite shops for a few hours can burn up to 300 calories, while gardening for a half hour burns up to 150 calories.

Taking your dog for a half-hour walk will burn up to 100 calories, but if you increase your speed to a light jog your canine outing could burn as many as 300 calories (the same amount of calories in a bar of dark chocolate).

Kaminski also says that an organized bootcamp in the summer months is a great way to burn calories at an intense rate and still enjoy the warm weather.

“An hour of bootcamp burns 400 to 550 calories per hour,” says Kaminski.

Burn more
How to burn more calories without the gym:
• Forgo the automatic carwash. Use the clothesline instead of the dryer.
• Park a few blocks away from your intended destination.
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
• Go out dancing.

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