Summer is here and although it may not be swimsuit season in the Yukon, it’s nice to feel great in that tank top or shorts.

So in order to stay active throughout the summer and burn off those few extra hot dog and Frappuccino calories, here are a few fun summer activities.

The calories associated with these activities are from the American Council on Exercise and from www.caloriesperhour.com.

So what can the average person, who does not have a personal trainer on standby or daily, healthy meals cooked by a professional chef, do to get toned arms and a tighter midriff section?

1. Hiking

We have some amazing hiking trails here in Whitehorse, and hiking is also a great way to reduce stress. Grab a guide to local hiking trails, strap on your hiking shoes and bring some water.

For trail walking, specially designed trail-walking shoes or even running shoes may suffice. Drink at least four ounces of water every 20 minutes, even in colder climates, to avoid dehydration.

As we have all experienced, insect repellent and sunscreen are essentials. If you have Hikes and Bikes, check through it and start with the easier trails before tackling the advanced ones. Or ask someone with experience in hiking.

For safety, stick to the trails and avoid brushing against foliage and hiking alone or in the dark.

A 160-pound person burns about six calories per minute.

2. Biking

Cycling is a great form of exercise and a great way to enjoy the outdoors. There are road bikes and mountain bikes, and lucky for us we have a lot of mountain bike tails. You may be biking slower on a trail, but in case you haven’t tried it, it’s more work.

A 160-pound person burns about 7.3 calories per minute (10.3 calories per minute when mountain biking).

3. Jogging

The beauty of jogging or running is that you can do it anytime, anywhere.

Keep running shoes in your gym bag, at work or near the door and you’re always ready to explore the great outdoors. Even short bouts of jogging or running benefit your heart health, clear your head and calm your senses.

Running is great for summer travelling because you can always sneak in a quick run, even when travelling.

Locally, you can start off with an easy jog-walk on the Millennium Trail or run down the street to the stairs at the end of Black Street.

To prevent injuries, invest in a good pair of running shoes and rotate them out about every 300 to 400 miles. The experts at the running store are trained to customize your fit.

An interesting fact: if you walk or run or jog the same distance, you will have burned about the same amount of calories when you get there. The thing that changes is the amount of time it takes you.

A 160-pound person will burn about 12.4 calories per minute at six miles per hour.

4. Jumping

I love jumping rope. It’s not only great cardiovascular activity, but it also increases body awareness.

All you need to get started are comfortable shoes, preferably aerobic shoes or cross-trainers with a reinforced toe and cushioning for the balls of the feet.

Choose a lightweight rope with foam grips so it won’t slip when palms get sweaty, and one with a heavier type of tubing that will swing through the air and under your feet with ease.

The right length of rope is one that reaches about chest-high when stepping onto the centre of the rope and bringing the handles up to the chest.

Keep it fun by challenging family members to a jumping competition or, especially if you have small girls, purchase a Double Dutch jump rope and watch the girls laugh their way to fitness.

A 160-pound person will burn about 12.7 calories per minute.

5. Swimming

Swimming laps offers a great full-body workout. But even splashing around in the pool can be a great workout for everybody.

The buoyancy of water reduces the “weight” of a person by about 90 per cent, which means less stress on joints, bones and muscles.

Many people enjoy working out against the resistance of water while benefiting from its cooling effect on the body. Speaking of cooling effect, be sure to drink water while you are swimming (you can forget when you are always wet).

Here are some workout ideas: cup your hands and pull water away from you to build strength. Use a noodle, hand-held paddles or a kick board.

Lift, pull and throw your kids around the pool. Or even throw a ball around and the time spent exercising will fly by. I am never hungrier than when I leave the swimming pool.

A 160-pound person will burn about 10.3 calories per minute.

6. Rollerblading

Rollerblading or inline skating around the neighbourhood can be great family fun and a great workout. Most children love the idea. It’s uncomfortable at first on your calves, and a hard workout for the legs, but that’s what we want, right?

Start on a flat terrain that is free of rocks and, to prevent injuries, it is critical that adults (and especially children) wear helmets and protective gear on their wrists, knees and elbows.

It may not look “cool”, but it can make the difference between a serious head injury or trauma, and a minor injury or broken bones. So always be safe.

A 160-pound person will burn approximately 7.9 calories per minute

8. Playing Tennis

This was our try-something-new activity last year. Our family now loves to play tennis.

We aren’t that good, as our goal is to get it over the net and not over the fence! But we love to play. It’s great cardiovascular activity and incorporates upper-body power and strength, unlike most other activities.

A 160-pound person burns 9.68 calories per minute.

Whatever summer activity gets you off the couch and into nature, remember to stay safe, hydrated and protect your skin with sunscreen.

This column is provided by Peak Fitness. Mrs. Lee Randell is an ACE-certified personal trainer. Contact information and past articles are available at www.pkfitness.yk.ca/Clients. Anyone who wants to begin an exercise program should consult their physician first.

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at www.mrsleerandell.com.