Feeling spent at the end of a day at an amusement park is natural, and tired feet may leave fest-goers feeling like they've completed a marathon. Sutton estimates that an average adult might burn 300-330 calories per hour walking around at a 3 mile per hour pace. But the burn comes at a cost: Menu choices at these kinds of attractions can be limited to high-calorie, fatty (and let's face it, deliciously tempting) foods. Going in with a game plan can make those extra steps count.
"Eat before you arrive for fewer cravings and to curb hunger," said Sutton. He also advised discreetly packing small snacks, trying to choose the "lesser of two evils" when buying from the concession stand and drinking plenty of water to stay full and hydrated. That said, there's no reason to feel defeated over a few favorite snacks.
A day at Mountain Park Aquatic Pool
"Swimming is the single greatest exercise you can do," said Sutton. "It is cardiovasular, and the water acts as resistance training." Sutton estimates that depending on basal metabolic rate, swimming can burn 450 to 550 calories per hour. "It is the easiest on the body, with very little stress on joints."
Taking the water activities to the lake? Certain watersports can provide an even more focused workout.
"Water skiing is a great stregthening workout for your core and legs," said Sutton, estimating a 250- to 350-calorie burn per hour for the activity.
Dancing it out at the ONE Musicfest
As much as the crowd and their reactions might vary at a concert depending on the band, the mood, and the individual, so do the benefits of getting out there and getting down. But anyone who's spent hours moving to their favorite music and felt a little sore the next day can attest to the fact that something good is at work here.
"Usually dancing is a total body movement, and the more active parts you have, the more your heart is working," said Sutton, who estimates that dancing can burn 200-250 calories an hour.
Hanging at Piedmont Park's Noguchi playscape
Playing on the playground doesn't have to be just for kids.
"People can do all kinds of body weight exercises outside: squats, lunges, push-ups, tricep dips, pull ups (secure bar of course), step ups, jumps, sprints," says Sutton."
Regardless of the outdoor activity, plan carefully to ensure that the adventure can be completed safely, paying mind to both fitness capability and the surrounding environment.
While this is good information to keep in mind, calorie counting isn't everything. Sutton cites blood pressure, muscular capacity (strength), cardiovascular and muscular endurance, heart rate and several other factors as alternate and equally important ways of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
"These are all measures of staying fit and healthy," Sutton said. "Calories and weight are important, but not nearly the end of the story."