When spring and summer hit, it can feel like you’re liberated from the confines of your big-box gym (and your fluorescently lit office). That’s because you are—and you should take full advantage of its fat-burning, muscle-building potential.
Seriously, calorie-torching opportunities are everywhere—from your backyard, to the woods, and at the nearest beach. Instead of toiling away in a stuffy gym, flatten your stomach this season with activities that don’t feel like work.
In fact, enjoying whatever task or game you’re taking on is one of the most important factors for getting more frequent (and more effective) exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., the American Council on Exercise’s Chief Scientific Officer. Here are nine essential summertime activities that’ll burn as many calories as a solid workout—and leave you with a smile on your sweaty face.