In a world where the newest, hottest, best workout is forever changing, it seems like a losing battle to try to keep track of the trends. One day a chic new cycling class has taken over and the next day it’s jazz Pilates with a yoga infusion—whatever that is. Who can keep all these classes straight?
While fitness fanatics shuffle back and forth to the new hottest thing that will supposedly burn up calories, build strength and solve all of your problems, we think some of the tried and true activities deserve some love, too. Water sports are one of the best parts of summer and even if you might not realize it at the time, these activities are putting you through a killer workout.
Whether you’re surfing, swimming or wakeboarding, the resistance of the water is building strength—often more efficiently than lifting weights in the gym. Water sports with boards require balance, which is great for building core strength and agility in general and practically any activity on or in the water can be turned into a great cardio workout. Add to that the rising temperatures on land and who wouldn’t want to get in a workout on the water?
In celebration of summer and the awesome strength-building powers of water, we’ve highlighted some of the water sports that are probably better—and definitely more fun—than your current workout.
While kayaking might not seem like the typical total-body workout, it definitely deserves a spot on this list. Paddling is one of the best cardio-strength training combinations out there. If you’re looking to tone your legs, arms and core, take a break from the gym and rent a kayak.
Water polo players are constantly alternating between treading water and high intensity sprints—a combination that creates an effective full body workout. Organize a casual game or compete in a league and enjoy the benefits of this tough workout while you’re distracted by the competitive spirit of the game.