6. Play Tennis

Engaging in any court-based sport provides a good workout, but you only need one other person to start a game of tennis. It builds agility, hand-eye coordination, and works all the major muscle groups—and that helps your metabolism. Since the game is played in short bursts during which you’re swinging your racquet or sprinting after a ball, it offers fatburning benefits similar to those found in traditional interval training (see entry 233). A 150-pound individual can expect to burn more than 400 calories each hour and enjoy a competitive sport in the process.

7. Try Racquetball

One of the great things about this sport is that you’ll burn a lot of calories even when you’re starting out. A 150-pound person can expect to burn 500 calories at the beginning and push this into the 800s as he becomes more agile and gains stamina. In this interval-style sport that provides aerobic and anaerobic benefits, you’ll run nearly 2 miles an hour and you won’t even notice it—although your heart, waistline, and metabolism will!

8. Try Spinning Classes

Spinning on a stationary bike is a proven way to reduce body fat and expend calories, but it is much more than that. Spinning also helps you to strengthen joints, lower raised cholesterol, and increase energy levels. In terms of calories burned, about 10 minutes of spinning burns about 115 calories. If you took a spinning class every day over a year for at least 10 minutes a day, it could lead to a 12-pound weight loss. Spinning offers opportunities to strengthen your large leg muscles and increase your workout intensity by adding resistance and speed.

9. Try Cross-Country Skiing

During those winter months when running may not be an option, why not break out the cross-country skis? A 150-pound person can burn up to 900 calories per hour as she strengthens the muscles in her shoulders, back, chest, abdomen, buttocks, and legs using the kick and glide technique. If you’re looking forward to starting a cross-country routine, we recommend preparing with exercises that work the upper-and lower-body muscle groups such as cycling, walking, swimming, and rowing.

10. Try Roller Skating

If you want to build strong legs, gain balance, and reduce your overall body fat while you get an aerobic workout, pick up a pair of roller skates or in-line skates. A 150-pound person will burn between 400 and 500 calories skating, so if he were to alternate his workouts between skating, cycling, and swimming, he’d burn a significant number of calories during the week and have fun doing it!

11. Join a Rowing Club

Rowing burns a lot of calories because it exercises larger muscle groups in both the upper and lower body. It is, in fact, one of the best forms of total body aerobic exercise because it involves all the major muscle groups. Also, within 10 minutes of rowing, your body gets into a rhythm that lights your metabolic fire. Rowing tones the arms and builds upper-body strength. Rowing for 25 minutes is aerobically equal to 40 minutes on a stationary bike. In a kayak or rowboat, you can get a workout targeting the core areas of your body, but if you like working out with others, join a rowing club.

Basically, rowing takes two forms. When rowers have an oar in each hand, it’s called sculling. When rowers have both hands on one oar, it is called sweep rowing. Rowing is a low-impact exercise but does require a degree of agility, grace, and teamwork. Rowing as a team teaches you to work together for maximum effectiveness. The boat advances more rapidly when the team members row quickly and in unison. So make some new friends, learn the art of rowing, get in a regular workout, and feel good as your body becomes trim and toned—and your metabolism ratchets up.

12. Embrace Jumping Jacks

Good old-fashioned jumping jacks provide a great aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping, carries oxygen to your lungs, enables your blood to pump with less effort, and tones your muscles—all of which can jump-start your metabolism. When you do jumping jacks, the exercise triggers your brain to release some feel-good chemicals into the bloodstream. If you get tired, try doing sets of five or ten, and then rest. Or better yet, add lunges or squats to vary the routine and keep those metabolic fires burning.

13. Get a Trampoline

Bouncing on a trampoline strengthens your legs, increasing their ability to serve as an auxiliary pump for your cardiovascular system, while increasing your pulse for a cardio workout. It also strengthens your voluntary and involuntary muscular system, which helps the entire system work more efficiently and burn more calories. It’s also low-impact and spares wear and tear on your joints, feet, knees, and hips. Buy a mini-trampoline to use when you’re watching TV.

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