We all know how many calories there are to gain at this weekend's varied Memorial Day celebrations. Between the barbecues, cookouts and cocktail parties, surely there is enough to eat and drink. But what about using the socializing to burn off excess calories?
Between the leisurely long weekend ahead of us and this week's release of the Great Gatsby film trailer, the universe is practically begging you to play some leisurely lawn games.
Think of the sociable activities, most often contained enough for a small backyard or garden, as the "slow and steady" side of fitness. Sure, you're not going to get your cross-train on with any activity that allows you to hold a gin drink in one hand. But a few hours out on the lawn certainly beats the same time spent parked on a couch. So grab a group of friends and pass an afternoon outside. Every little bit counts!
The game involves tossing a weighted disc along a long, narrow court. And it burns 190 calories per hour. (<em><a href="http://www.exercise.com/activity/shuffleboard" target="_hplink">via Exercise.com</a></em>)
Perhaps a game more likely to occur at, ah, more youthful celebrations, this game requires tight control, coordination and leg power -- making it a good exercise for soccer players -- and a decent calorie burner at 254 calories per hour. (<em>via <a href="http://www.exercise.com/activity/hacky-sack" target="_hplink">Exercise.com</a></em>)
Have a gaggle of under-12 party guests? That's a workout in the making! Running around with little ones can burn up to 254 calories per hour. (<em>via <a href="http://www.exercise.com/activity/walk-run-playing-with-child-children" target="_hplink">Exerciser.com</a></em>)
Using a mallott to hit a wooden ball around the resistant surface of a lush lawn, croquet players can get some toning in with their gin and tonic. But at 170 calories per hour, it's probably not worth toasting your newfound fitness quite yet. (<em>via <a href="http://www.myfitnesspal.com/exercise/lookup" target="_hplink">MyFitnessPal</a></em>)
Much like its bar-area counterpart, lawn darts involve a target of concentric circles and a series of colorful darts. The goal is to get a dart in the center bull's eye, but you'll burn 159 calories an hour in the meantime.
Even if you don't have a big bash planned, you can still get outside and throw a ball around. You'll be rewarded with a modest 159 calories per hour. (<em>via <a href="http://www.myfitnesspal.com/exercise/lookup" target="_hplink">MyFitnessPal</a></em>)