There was a time in your life when you didn't even realize what you were doing was called aerobic or cardio exercise. One of the most successful long-term weight-maintenance strategies is to make sure you burn 1,000 calories through exercise every week. But how you burn them is up to you. You can do anything from playing basketball (400 calories an hour*) to a game of squash (790 calories an hour). There's no reason anything you do has to feel like a "workout."
1. Inline skate
Head for the sidewalk or boardwalk or, if it's cold outside, find an indoor skating rink (and think back to grade-school skating parties).
Burns up to 700 calories an hour, depending on your speed and how hilly the course is
2. Shoot hoops
At home, the local park or gym, play a game of basketball with a few friends.
Burns 400 calories an hour
3. Go dancing
Head out on a Saturday night to try salsa, swing or even belly dancing. Or pick your favorite music at home and just move.
Burns about 300 calories an hour
4. Rock 'n' walk
Download new music to accompany your walk. Check out our monthly playlists for ideas.
Burns 330 calories an hour
5. Try musical jump-rope
Put on some great music and jump to the beat; use a boxer's shuffle or any other jump step you know.
Burns 658 calories an hour
6. Pick up the pace
Walk through your neighborhood, adding one minute of speed-walking or running every five minutes.
Burns about 400 calories an hour if repeated 10 times during the course of an hour's walk
7. Track it
Wear a pedometer from the moment you wake up until the time you go to bed and see how many steps you really take in a day (aim for 10,000––you'll be surprised how quickly it adds up!).
Burns 150 calories for 10,000 steps
8. Train in your neighborhood
Take a brisk walk and use your surroundings to perform strengthening exercises. Do push-offs on a mailbox, push-ups against a fence, step-ups on a curb or park bench, lunges up a hill or triceps dips on a bench.
Burns up to 700 calories an hour at a 4-mph pace
Walk backward for variety, which really tones your hamstrings. Walk with a friend, with one of you facing forward, the other backward, then switch each block.
Burns 330 calories an hour if you're going 4 mph
10. Build a DVD library
Buy, rent or borrow aerobics DVDs that will keep you interested and motivated.
Burns 428 calories an hour
*Calorie estimates are based on a 145-pound woman.