Getting your daily recommended amount of exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. It doesn’t even require a gym membership. If you have access to the great outdoors, you have everything you need to enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and a workout that doesn’t feel like work. We’ll give you a rough estimate of calories burned for each activity, but accurate figures will depend on your weight and the intensity of your activity. You can use an online calorie calculator for more specific numbers.
This one may seem obvious, but there are many ways to maximize the benefit of this simple activity. On average, walking at a moderate pace burns about 100 calories per mile for a 160-pound person. A mile is about 2,000 steps. Look for opportunities to add steps to your routine throughout the day. Park farther away at the store, and add stairs whenever possible. You can even add to your step count on your lunch break: walking just five city blocks will net you an extra half-mile. Up the ante by increasing your pace or adding ankle weights.
Hiking is so much more than “just walking.” You get to reap the benefits of being out in nature, like soaking up some vitamin D, while the varied terrain works different muscle groups, like your quads and glutes. Plus, if you choose the right trail, your efforts will be rewarded with a breathtaking view. Hiking burns about 430 calories per hour if you weigh around 160 pounds.