No Time for the Gym? Go Out and Play

You can burn major calories this summer just by playing outside as a family.

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Why Play Pays Off

Jason Todd

Why Play Pays Off

Who wouldn't want to hit a chaise lounge, sip a fruity drink, and kick back while the kids run around? But don't get too comfortable. You can burn major calories just by playing outside as a family.

"Even short bursts of exercise can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol," says Stephen Daniels, MD, PhD, spokesperson for the American Heart Association. Even better, if you're active, your kids will want to follow your lead. Here are 7 fun ways to get started today.

(All calorie counts based on a 135-pound woman per 1/2 hour of activity.)

Kicking around the soccer ball will zap 284 calories.

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Fantastic Frisbees

Jason Todd

Fantastic Frisbees

Who knew a casual Frisbee toss could burn 122 calories?

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Slim Skating

Jason Todd

Slim Skating

For major waistline whittling, slap on those skates -- in-line skating will deplete 506 calories!

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Jump Around

Jason Todd

Jump Around

Break out the jump rope to slash 405 calories in 30 minutes.

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Batter Up

Jason Todd

Batter Up

Grab your Little Leaguer and start pitching, hitting, and running to burn 243 calories.

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Ride On

Jason Todd

Ride On

Explore your town (or hit up the trails at a local park) by bike -- you'll ride away with 324 fewer calories.

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Tag, You're It!

Jason Todd

Tag, You're It!

A good, old-fashioned toddler chase burns a surprising 203 calories.

Copyright © 2007. Reprinted with permission from the August 2007 issue of Parents magazine.