Time’s almost up! Use these last weeks of summer heat to tighten up that muscle tone and have a blast doing it. Below we’ve listed the best water sports for total-body toning.

watersports fitness1. Kayaking

Many people don’t realize what an intense workout kayaking is until the day after. Take it easy the first time because you will feel it in every muscle the next day! It’s not just an arm and shoulder workout, either. Since kayaking engages your core and seat for balance and power, it engages your entire body, especially if you’re kayaking through waves or fast currents.

2. Surfing

If you’ve ever surfed or watched someone else surf, you will see right away that it requires a concentrated effort throughout the body. Staying on that board is more difficult than it looks, and this workout will engage muscles you never even knew you had. Never tried surfing? No worries! Even a two-hour surfing lesson will work your body harder than any routine you’ve ever done at the local gym.

3. Wakeboarding

While water skiing is also good exercise, wakeboarding allows for more versatility of movement and speed. Just the effort or turning, changing direction, and staying afloat keeps your body fully activated from head to toe. While it may take a few tries to learn the ropes, this is one workout that is every bit as exhilarating as it looks.

4. Water Polo

This sport requires a team, but the competitive spirit will distract your mind from the intensity of the exercise. Jumping, deep-water running, and sprint swimming are all required in this agile game that resembles soccer. Many community center pools and full-service gyms have an organized water polo league. Try dropping in on a few practice sessions before summer’s out and feel the results for days afterward.

5. Paddle Boarding

While paddle boarding may look tame compared to some of the sports named above, it is not as easy as it looks! Staying balanced on the board is a workout in itself, engaging all the muscles in the legs, hips, and core. Once you’ve mastered the simple task of actually standing on the board, your arms, shoulders, and back are put into action in order to move and steer with the paddle. Like surfing, it may take a few lessons to master, but just attending a few lessons will give you a full-body workout you won’t soon forget.

6. Aqua Yoga

For some, intense water sports are simply not an option. If you suffer from arthritis or reduced mobility, for example, water polo might not be your cup of tea. Aqua yoga is the perfect full-body workout for anyone that prefers a low-intensity, soothing exercise for all the muscles and joints in the body. Aqua yoga works muscles throughout the body without joint strain or risk of injury.

7. Just Plain Swimming

No time for learning new water sports or taking organized classes? Just go swimming! Plain old swimming, in any depth or style, is an incredible workout all by itself. Even if you only swim for a half-hour three times per week, you’ll be activating more muscles and burning more calories than most other forms of cardio exercise. Take advantage of the hot weather and go for a swim! Your body will thank you.

Additional Resources

If your fitness routine needs a little bit of extra oomph, try adding in herbal supplements to increase energy levels, stamina, and muscle mass. You can also read more about fitness and exercise on the Living Clean blog:

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