6 Tips for Fitness-Promoting Recreation

Paddle Boarding

If you want to increase your fitness, some of the best ways to do that involve taking up a fitness-promoting recreational pastime or activity.

We’ve talked before about easy, at-home cardio workouts and tips for finding time to work out in a busy schedule. Today we’ll talk about 6 recreational activities you can take up to promote fitness.

Activity 1): Running

runningRunning includes cross-country and track, both of which are fantastic ways to burn calories and build endurance, stamina, and muscular fitness. Running does not require training as such, although it is probably a good idea to look into tips for running and common issues runners face.

Running can greatly increase your feelings of energy and wellbeing in the course of a day. It is also a great way to burn calories: at a speed of 8 miles per hour, you can potentially burn over 1,000 calories if you run for that full hour.

Activity 2): Cycling

Many of us probably spent hours on our bicycles as young people, but at some point, most of us traded our pedal-powered sets of wheels for the automotive kind. However, there’s every reason to get into cycling as an adult: in addition to being great fun, it is wonderful exercise.

Bicycling is a great way to build lower body strength, improve balance and coordination, and boost cardiovascular fitness, all while burning about 400 calories per hour.

Activity 3): Swimming

swimmingIf you have access to a gym with a swimming pool, or some other body of water that won’t be too cold, swimming is a wonderful way to work out. The wonderful thing about swimming is that it’s a low-impact total body work out: not only does it provide you with wonderful exercise opportunities all over, it is also much easier on your joints and your feet than running in particular.

A single hour of swimming can burn about 600 to 700 calories, so this is another excellent way to promote fitness.

Activity 4): Backpacking

If you have access to wilderness, try backpacking. A backpacking trip with friends can be an amazing and fun way to enjoy exploring the outdoors while burning calories – about 600 to 700 per hour – and increasing lower body strength and stamina.

Part of the fun with backpacking trips is the incredible flexibility and range of activities you can enjoy. Some people enjoy short daytrips, backpacking up to a particular area and then back, but you can also do multi-day trips. The different locations are also part of the fun: mountains, forests, and other wilderness experiences.

Activity 5): Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country SkiingIf you’re into winter sports, cross-country skiing is the way to go: it provides an excellent exercise while also allowing you to enjoy a thrilling experience outdoors in the winter.

This sport does require ski gear, as well as access to good places in which to go skiing. If you can manage it, though, it’s an amazing experience.

The nature of the motion required by cross-country skiing makes it an excellent aerobic workout, because you have to use your shoulders, back, chest, core, and legs to stay balanced and to direct yourself. When you get going, you can burn between 600 and 900 calories per hour.

Cross-country skiing does take some time to learn, so consider taking lessons and buying or renting equipment until you are comfortable with it.

Activity 6): Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding is the sleeper hit on this list, the one you might not have seen coming, but which is actually one of the best ways imaginable in which to build fitness while having an amazing time.

The one piece of equipment you will need is a paddle board, a great variety of which are available at Paddle Board Direct.

The first thing to understand is that standup paddle boarding is a full body workout, one which draws on your legs to stabilize your center of gravity, your arms, back, and shoulders to propel the paddleboard, and the core, back, and abdominal muscles to maintain balance.

What paddle boarding allows you to do is combine a great cardio workout with strength-building exercise. This is an excellent way to burn 500 calories an hour at laid-back speeds, and 1,000 calories or more in an hour if you really get into it.

If that’s not enough, there’s also the fact that it’s low impact, meaning it will save stress on your tendons and ligaments. If you’re a runner in need of another alternative, it doesn’t get any better than paddle boarding.


Some of the best and most memorable ways in which to build fitness involve recreation. Activities as diverse as running, cycling, skiing, and paddle boarding offer excellent ways in which to promote fitness and burn calories while also having a memorable time.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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