A trip to the park doesn't mean you have to throw away your exercise for the day. These lawn games get you moving and torch cals, but they're so fun you won't even realize you're getting in a workout
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Bump, set, and spike your way slim with this competitive sport turned amateur favorite. Even if you've never played before, you can burn up to 500 calories per hour, according to John Rowley, personal trainer and director of wellness at the International Sports Sciences Association. Thanks to jumping and quick, lateral movements, it will get your heart pounding and chisel your legs all at once. (For more volleyball inspo, check out Olympic Beach Volleyball Star Kerri Walsh's Total-Body Workout.)
Racquetball, Badminton, or Kadima
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Net or no net, you'll get a killer workout as you lunge side-to-side trying to keep the ball up in the air. Plyometric-like moves and frequent changes of direction engage your core and help build power in the lower body. Plus, you'll burn 400 calories per hour without even noticing how hard you're working.
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You've probably seen more and more spikeball games on the beach in recent years. In this foursquare-meets-volleyball hybrid, two teams of two players each surround a round net. Once the ball is served, there are no boundaries, so you can run, leap, and dive just about anywhere in order to keep the ball in play. Not only does this sport turn even the most novice player into a fierce competitor, it also has impressive fitness stats: In the average 15-minute game, players take approximately 831 steps, burn 116 calories, and reach an average heart rate of 134, according to the company's research from Fitbit.
Frisbee (Ultimate or Not)
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According to Fitbit ambassador Harley Pasternak, frisbee is one of the best ways to clock in some extra aerobic work. Your heart rate will soar and, if you play it on the beach, the extra resistance turns the playful backyard sport into a serious muscle toner. After an hour and 208 calories, you'll be ready for some much needed post-game R&R. (We're not kidding: You can Build Serious Strength on the Sand.)
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We thought this schoolyard throwback was cool again as soon as we found out that it could burn up to 277 calories per hour. Added bonus: All you need is one tiny ball and a few friends. Talk about a low-maintenance workout!
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Yes, this one takes a little more organization for a full-fledged game, but if you pull it off, it's not only perfect for keeping large groups entertained, it also is one of the best cardiovascular workouts out there. In just thirty minutes, you can burn about 277 calories thanks to running short and fast routes. Plus, it requires you test your agility and balance with every dodge and move. (Follow your game with Winning Tailgate Foods for Football Season.)
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Admittedly, this one is a stretch when it comes to the fitness impact. Sure, those weighted sand bags give your arms a little workout, and, yes, it requires some hand-eye coordination that we think is good to keep practicing; but it's the competitive spirit, the accessibility for a person of any age or ability, and the inevitable vitamin D boost from the summertime rays that keep us coming back for more.