Backyard Calorie Burners
Four classic lawn games to keep you fit this summer
Though it may not officially be summer just yet, the spirit of the season is already in the air. Kids are getting out of school, the weather is heating up and more people are flocking to their back and front yards to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
Of course, this means the days of barbecue temptation are upon us, a significant threat to any medical weight loss diet in the Fayetteville or Syracuse area. Though the sounds and smells of sizzling burgers may not help with your goals of losing weight, you can still stay healthy in your outdoor afternoons by taking part in some good old fashioned recreation. The low-intensity workouts offered by many classic lawn games are perfect for burning a few calories while having fun in the sun, so rally your friends and family for one of these great activities next time you gather for a barbecue or garden party.
Sure, croquet may not be the sport of choice for bodybuilders or Olympic athletes, but hitting those colorful balls around with a wooden mallet will burn about 170 calories per hour. Far superior to an afternoon spent lounging on the couch, croquet is a fun and sociable activity that anyone can get involved in, so grab the whole gang to avoid the sticky wicket of a sedentary summer.
This outdoor version of the wall-mounted bar classic involves throwing large, brightly-colored darts into a target made of concentric circles on the surface of your lawn. Shooting those darts for the center bull’s eye will burn about 159 calories per hour—just try not to touch the sharp end.
The repetitive motion of pitching heavy metal horseshoes at a stake several yards away makes this classic game a perfect leisurely workout for a warm summer afternoon. You’ll burn about 204 calories an hour playing horseshoes and might even improve your aim to boot.
Though hacking it with the best of them will take some practice and finesse, playing hacky sack is a great way to improve your leg power and coordination. As you get better, try learning some tricks to dazzle your friends, but don’t ruin a great streak by dropping the bag. Hacky sack will burn about 254 calories for each member of the circle, so kick your shoes off, bring your buddies out back and start hacking.
These classic lawn games might not burn enough calories to make up for any slip ups you have with dangerous barbecue foods, but if you stick to your diet they may give you that little fitness boost you need to keep ahead with your weight loss goals this summer. Best of all, they’re great ways to have fun with the people you care most about, so get out in the summer sun and create some healthy memories.