Note: Calories burned based on a 145-pound, 5' 5'' woman.
Calories burned per hour: 200
Muscles targeted: Upper back, shoulders, triceps, chest, core, legs
Know before you go: While you don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer -- the board is a flotation device -- proficiency in the crawl stroke and treading water are essential beginner skills. And learning on a longboard is key, since it provides more balance than a shorter board.
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Calories burned per hour: 330
Muscles targeted: arms, core, lower back, and shoulders
Know before you go: Kayaks differ in shape and design. Sit-on-top kayaks are ideal for beginners, because they’re stable, easy to climb on and off, and typically made of light-weight, easier-to-carry materials. If you’re paddling in rocky waters, wear a helmet.
Calories burned per hour: 420
Muscles targeted: arms, core, shoulders, back, and quads
Know before you go: Don’t step right on the board and try to stand once it’s in the water. Sit in the center and lift up on your hands and knees. Hold the paddle in both hands, and slowly raise yourself into a standing position. Once up, keep your knees bent and feet shoulder width apart.
Calories burned per hour: 544
Muscles targeted: arms, chest, back, legs
Know before you go: Sand is a less forgiving surface than a gymnasium floor. You’ll be slower, tucker out more quickly, and won’t have much of a vertical jump. Conserve energy by taking smaller steps, and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Calories burned per hour: 390
Muscles targeted: Quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, hips
Know before you go: Beginners should stick to well-marked, groomed trails. Wear long sleeves, long pants and a hat to keep bugs and poisonous weeds from coming into contact with your skin. And bring plenty of water, particularly if you’re hiking at higher elevations, since altitude dehydrates the body more quickly.