Silent discos are gaining popularity...but what exactly is a silent disco? Watch the video to find out. Cherry Hill Courier-Post


Summer brings more opportunities to be outdoors or try new adventures. And while people are enjoying these unique activities, they are unknowingly burning quite a few calories.

“Nicer weather encourages people to get outside and engage in outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, biking and just having fun,” says Mildred “Mitch” Bentler, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and supervisor of nutrition and diabetes education for Summit Medical Group. “Most outdoor summer activities are aerobic or require oxygen, which is great for calorie-burning and cardiovascular health.”

Darren Lewis, fitness manager at the Virtua Center for HealthFitness – Moorestown, also says people tend to burn more calories during the summer months.

“For individuals who do not have extreme health conditions, summer activities can be a great way to get some exercise and burn some extra calories,” he says. “The increased heat will lead to higher heart rates and respiration rates which will, consequently, increase the body's demand for energy and calorie expenditure.”

Sure, you can ride your bike, hop in a pool or go for a run in the park with the hopes of shedding a few pounds. Or you can think beyond the usual workkouts.

Here are eight unique ways to have fun this summer, the calories burned while doing each activity and a summer snack you will have earned the right to enjoy. (The information is an estimate, and several factors including age, weight, gender and fitness level can affect calorie expenditure, says Lewis.)

More: Thrills. Chills. Waterparks: Best amusement parks in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania

Amusement park: Challenging the kids to facing Great Adventure's Kingda Ka and other heart-racing rides for a day can actually be quite a workout. “According to research, approximately every 30 minutes spent at an amusement park will burn 100 calories,” says Lewis. “By riding various rides at an amusement park, one can experience further calorie burn due to increased heart  and respiration rates that come with the 'excitement response' from thrill rides.” This means spending four hours at an amusement park will burn at least 800 calories. If you want to treat yourself, you can then indulge in a hot dog (270 calories) and 32 ounce Pepsi (330 calories). If you stay an extra hour, you could go for a two-scoop ice cream (358 calories) as well.

Axe throwing: Plan a night out burying some hatchets at one of the local axe-throwing establishments. Axe throwing is similar to playing darts, but with a larger device – and a better workout. According to an article in SELF magazine, axe throwing will work the upper body, core, hamstrings, quads and glutes. It mimics an exercise move known as the wood chopper. Doing the wood chopper for 30 minutes will burn about 116 calories. Many axe-throwing businesses serve alcohol or are BYOB, so enjoy a bottle of light beer (104 calories) while waiting for a turn to toss a hatchet.

Escape rooms: Grab some friends and feel the burn when trying to overcome an escape room challenge. “Doing an escape room can actually burn a lot more calories than you think,” says Lewis. “Rough estimates suggest about 184 to 200 calories can be burned during a 60-minute escape room challenge. Activities involving the brain can often require increased calorie expenditure because our brains require a lot of energy to remain engaged and active.” After escaping, why not celebrate with a slice of Margherita pizza (204 calories)?

Haunted Miniature Golf: Look for Bones, a singing skeleton, on the Ocean City boardwalk and, if you dare, enter his lair for a spooky good game of miniature golf. While enjoying the hysterical ghouls and talking animals, guests can will burn about 204

calories according to That's enough to visit Shriver's afterward and eat four pieces of sticky saltwater taffy (150 calories).

More: Monster Mini Golf indoor course brings glow-in-the-dark fun to Cherry Hill

Silent disco: Dance the night away at a silent disco this summer.  Rather than using a stereo system, guests will hear music through wireless headphones. As they feel the beat and move their feet, participants will also burn quite a few calories. According to Lewis, a 150 pound person can burn about 230 calories while engaging in aerobic dance for 60 minutes. Maybe cool down after with a regular Rita's Lemon Water Ice (260 calories). Staying for two hours? Indulge in a large size (400 calories).

Stand up paddle boarding: Stand up paddle boarding is becoming very popular and can burn up to 500 calories per hour,” says Bentler. “It's also a great upper body and core workout.” No board? Bentler says just splashing around in the ocean for an hour can burn up to 400 calories, too. If experiencing cravings for funnel cake (760 calories) while at the shore try, doing an hour of each activity first.

Trampoline park: Bounce the day away at a trampoline park and get in shape, too. The calories one can burn in 30 minutes on a trampoline varies depending on one's weight and jump intensity, says Lewis. For example, according to, a 150 pound adult will burn about 126 calories in 30 minutes while a 200 pound adult will burn 167 calories. “The heavier you are, the more calories burn while bouncing,” says Lewis. Jumping for awhile will make many thirsty. Try a tall glass of cool lemonade (100 calories).

Water park: When summer days get a bit too hot and humid, visit a water park and cool down while riding the slides. Lewis says calories burned at a water park range from 150 to 700 calories a day. “The large range in calorie expenditure depends on the activity or activities that one enjoys while at the water park,” he says. “Water parks can include a lot of walking and other calorie-burning activities like the wave pool, so there is the potential to burn a significant amount of calories. Just make sure you don't spend too much time in the lazy river.” When working up an appetite at the water park enjoy a soft pretzel (389 calories) guilt-free.


Indoor mini golf features arcade, virtual reality and laser maze. Cherry Hill Courier-Post

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