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Work out in the Water – Stand Up Paddleboarding

Summer provides a great opportunity to change your exercise environment. Take a break from the gym and cool off by working out in the water. Here are a few options that will burn calories and make your exercise more enjoyable.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

There are few better ways to challenge your balance than by stand up paddleboarding. Almost every muscle in your body is worked while you stand on the board and paddle your way over the water. If you can’t get to your feet, don’t be discouraged. Staying on your knees still provides an excellent workout. Keep at it for one hour at a moderate pace and you’ll burn 450 calories.

Canoeing and Kayaking

You don’t have to get wet to enjoy the benefits of water exercise. Maneuvering yourself with a paddle as you canoe or kayak across the water challenges the upper body and core muscles. Move at a moderate pace (5 to 5.9 miles per hour) and you will burn 478 calories in an hour while enjoying some scenic views.


Water adds resistance as you kick your legs and swim across the surface, which makes snorkeling a great way to improve fitness and burn calories. Get up close and personal with some marine life for an hour and you’ll burn 319 calories.


Special equipment is not required for getting a great workout in the water. Swimming is an effective form of exercise that is easy on joints. An hour of swimming leisurely with your family will burn 399 calories.

Water Jogging

You can increase the intensity and blast calories by turning your time in the water into a challenging workout. Like swimming, water jogging is easy on the joints and the water provides resistance to work the muscles and get the heart pumping. If you are jogging in deep water, consider using a water jogging belt to help you stay afloat. An hour of water jogging burns 558 calories.

Water Skiing

A day on the lake with the boat can turn into calories burned when you strap on the skis. Water skiing works the muscles of the legs and core as you balance yourself. The upper body is also challenged by simply keeping a good grip on the ski rope. An hour of water skiing will burn 399 calories.

*All reported calories burned are based on a 150-pound female.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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