Summertime is always a great opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. And while adventure theme parks and other summer getaways are always a favourite, the beaches and other bodies of water are never far behind. Water activities give you more than just fun times, however.

Choosing the right water activity can help you stay fit, negating the calories that can be potentially gained from the feast that usually accompanies summer activities.

For most Aussies, water activities are a way of life. And if you happen to be on the lookout for a more meaningful way to stay fit this summer, check out the following water activities.

1. Kayaking or Canoeing

If you’ve ever tried one of those rowing machines in your favourite gym, then you know that one of the best water activities you can ever have that will keep you fit this summer is canoeing or even kayaking.

Sure, you can enlist in a dragon boat race or even competitive rowing, but let us start with something that is not going to demand too much from you.

Canoeing or kayaking can help you burn as much as 400 calories per hour on a leisurely 3 KPH cruise. Pick up the pace and you can substantially increase your calorie burn by as much as 600 calories.

You will be working out the muscles of your arms and legs as well as the muscles of your core. Paddling the oar requires upper body strength while maintaining your balance in the canoe or kayak will require the close coordination of the different core muscles.

Kayaking happens to be one of the world’s best exercises that combine cardio and resistance training.

2. Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Some folks think this is easy. Sure, you’ll be standing on an oversized surfboard, but the way you have to maintain your balance will surely keep your muscles tense all the time. This can really work out not only the muscles of your legs and thighs but also the rest of your body especially the core muscles.

Maintaining your centre of gravity while standing on a platform being tossed by waves is difficult enough. Trying to paddle your way, shifting your weight somehow with every paddle, can be exceptionally challenging. No wonder world-class surfers always start mastering the art of stand-up paddle boarding.

And in case you’re wondering how many calories you’re going to burn with this water activity, just standing up and keeping your balance while gently paddling can shave about 250 calories per hour.

Try to up the ante by making your way in rougher waters and you could see a dramatic increase in your hourly calories burned – as much as 700 calories.

3. Water Polo

Okay, so this is a team sport and you’d definitely have to round up your gang to enjoy this water activity. But seriously, trying to keep your head above water without drowning while jockeying for position and scoring a goal requires skill.

The mere fact that you will be working your limbs against the pressure of water, this is something that will keep you fit not only during summer but for the rest of the year.

If you play a real water polo match, you’re looking at 8 continuous playing minutes in each quarter. But don’t be fooled. The timer stops whenever the ball is inactive or not in play.

That means you can easily be playing 12 minutes per quarter or 48 minutes of water activity. For the entire duration of the match, you’re looking at a modest 600 to 700 calories burned.

4. Scuba Diving

Perhaps the most enjoyable water activity that you can have in the summer to keep fit is scuba diving. Did we raise your eyebrows? Well, believe it or not, shore diving can help you burn as much as 600 calories per hour. Warm-water boat diving can get you half that.

But the most important thing of all is that scuba diving can open up a whole new world for you. Under the waves is a world that is seen only by those who dare venture into such depths.

Yearning to stay fit this summer? Make sure to try out these water activities. They’re fun and great for keeping you fit, too.

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