Summer Water Activities for Fun and Fitness

By Laurie Fanelli in Healthy Feeling

Fun in the sun is a priority when the weather warms, and out on the water is one of the best places to enjoy all the summer has to offer. Along with beautiful views, cool breezes, and spectacular sunsets, the water is the perfect location to focus on fitness.

Summer water activities provide full-body workouts while building endurance with low-impact moves. Whether you enjoy rowing, riding waves, or running in place, outdoor water activities are a great way to burn calories and strengthen muscles. (Remember, before jumping right in, take a sec, apply some sunscreen, and secure life jackets for any novice swimmers.)

Water Skiing

If you are interested in a water sport that works your arms while strengthening your core, try water skiing. Since it's one of the more popular summer water activities, you can water ski in lakes across the country and even take a class for beginners in some places.

Along with promoting upper body and core strength, water skiing also builds glutes and leg muscles since the sport involves prolonged squats. The best part is that water skiing is so much fun that you'll forget it's exercise.


Summer water activities are a great way to get exercise.
Surfing is another wet and wild way to build strength in your arms, abs, and lower body. It features bursts of aerobic activity—when you're paddling out to catch the next wave or running across the sand—while promoting balance. Beginner classes teach newcomers the basics, and body boarding is an easy alternative that can be enjoyed by just about anyone at any skill level.


Learning the basics of kayaking only requires a short lesson. Kayaking can be as relaxing or as vigorous as you like. It's all about how hard you paddle and how far you travel (and whether you're on a lazy river or a choppy ocean swell).

Arm and core strength are two positive effects of kayaking. Whether you are a lone wolf who likes to sail solo or a social butterfly who thinks everything is better with a few friends, kayaking provides a great combination of physical effort and time spent enjoying nature.

Water Aerobics

Outdoor pools are ideal places to participate in water aerobics classes. Instructor-led sessions combine low-impact exercises and calorie-burning choreography. Water aerobics classes might be more approachable for anyone with joint pain, and can also be a good choice for pregnant women. Fun music and good friends make classes more like social dance rather than exercise. Plus, who doesn't love splashing around in the pool!


Summer water activities are a great way to get exercise.
Swimming is one of the best forms of cardiovascular activity. When you're swimming laps, you burn calories and strengthen your arm, back, and shoulder muscles.

Even when engaging in a relaxing swim in a lake or ocean, you will find yourself with lower stress levels and a more restful mind thanks to the wonders of nature. If you are looking to combine family, fun, and fitness, head to the pool for a game of Marco Polo or water basketball.

How do you like to work out in the water? Share your favorite outdoor exercise ideas with us on Twitter!

Image source: Pixabay | Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain Pictures

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Why It’s Good

Get the most out of summer with water activities that combine fun and fitness. Low-impact workouts, core strengthening sports, and calorie-burning swimming pool games are just a few ways to enjoy exercise in the sun.