It’s officially autumn. Winter is almost coming —not the GOT one—and you owe it to yourself to have some fun before it gets all rainy and muddy. Think: escaping the gym for the weekend for some outdoor activity that burns the same calories —if not more.

Isn`t it nice?

Below are eleven activities you can do this weekend instead of going to the gym. Every one of them is fun and will help you burn at least 100 calories an hour.

1. Kite Surfing (kiteboarding)

Remember that photo of Richard Branson kitesurfing with a model on his back? Do that thing —with or without your partner—and you`ll burn a decent number of calories while having tons of fun. Studies suggest that an hour of kitesurfing will make you burn between 600 and 800 calories depending on your weight and wind condition.

2. Beach Volleyball

If you`re tall, or quick enough to play volleyball, then do it. Volleyball players, according to a 2013 study by the University of Illinois, have more cognitive skills than normal people.  Also, studies also found that walking barefoot on the sand strengthens your lower leg and stretches your feet and toes.

Volleyball is also one of the funniest ways to burn more calories at the beach without feeling like exercising. Unlike cardio, you`ll be doing lots of knee bending, arms swinging and jumping without noticing, all while burning between 260 and 350 calories an hour.

3. Hiking

Walk in the park or go for a long hike. It won`t be a problem since most cities have hiking trails outside them. Hiking can be refreshing after a stressful week, it burns between 400-500 calories per hour, and has many mental benefits. Did you know that a four-day hike can increase your creativity by 50 percent? 

According to a study by the University of Utah, backpackers who spent four days in nature without any electronic devices doubled their scores on a creativity test. Another study by the University of Michigan suggests that spending time in nature every now and then is critical to our mental wellbeing especially for people who live in urban areas.

4. Beach soccer

FIFA has just picked the USA, Canada and Mexico to host the World Cup so maybe it`s time to play some beach soccer and burn some calories. According to a study by the University of Copenhagen, playing soccer burns more calories than jogging. A 160-pound person burns three calories/minute jogging, almost seven calories less than soccer.

5. Biking

Grab your bike and go for a ride and, if you can, make it a habit. Biking is way faster than Uber, at least in Chicago, but that`s not just why it`s one of my favorites. Riding your bike burns 5-10 calories/minute depending on your weight and speed, and it`s the best way to get a pair of toned and very strong calves —have you seen Lance Armstrong `s leg?

Biking is also a great stress-relieving exercise and a pedal-powered commute can set you up for the whole day according to a 2017 study by Concordia University.

6. Yoga

Many people think yoga is only a posture-improving, strength-building activity. However, yoga has so many hidden benefits such as reducing inflammation and relieving migraines. Yoga, also helps you burn some fat on the side. In fact, some styles like Baptiste yoga, Power Yoga, and Ashtanga yoga —which include more movements than Hatha— can help a 155-pound person burn up to 573 calories per hour.

7. Lake swimming

A day at the lake? Why not. Swimming has so many benefits and, more importantly, it burns lots of calories. One hour of lake swimming can burn up to 550 calories and, to many people, it`s better than a day at the beach. Lakes are quiet and more relaxing than beaches and the water is a lot healthier than that of the pool —at least there`s no chlorine to worry about. In case you don`t know where to go, here`s a list of America`s best swimming lakes.

8. Beach sports

Don`t just go for the tan or some regular swimming. If you decide to hit the beach on the Fourth of July, then it makes sense trying some new fancier, and more joyful sports like windsurfing, jet-skiing, kayaking or scuba diving. Not only they`re fun, but beach sports also have so many benefits.

Besides the view, scuba-diving can help relieve arthritis whereas kayaking is used by the British Special Forces to prepare wounded soldiers mentally. Both activities, along with windsurfing and jet-skiing can burn an average of 300 calories per hour which is not bad at all for something you do just for fun.

9. Play tennis

Wimbledon has just begun, and while it`s a joy to watch Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal compete together, you can have some extra fun playing some tennis. It takes only two to play tennis—which makes it perfect for competitive couples—and you’ll burn an average of 400 calories per hour.

10. Fishing

I`m not the right person to give fishing tips. I once fished two separate pairs of shoes in one sitting, and I don`t think I have the patience to do it. However, if you need some time alone, fishing can be great for you.
Side benefits: it makes you more patient, and you get to burn a hundred calories/hour sitting on your ass.

11. Body weight exercises

Pull-ups, push-ups, squats, planks, jogging and more. All these activities you can do outside the gym using only your body weight. If hitting the gym is getting kind of boring, you can take an off day this Wednesday and exercise in the open air.

Originally published at