Calories Burned Tubing

Lounging in your tube won't burn many calories, but add swimming to the mix and you have a water workout.
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Whether you like to tube down a snowy hill, through a gentle stream or attached to a speedboat, any of these activities will burn more calories than sitting on your couch. There are two main types of water tubing: assisted and unassisted. Based on the names alone it might seem like unassisted would burn more calories, but assisted tubing -- when you are pulled by a boat -- is actually more of a workout.

Unassisted Tubing

Unassisted tubing is when you sit on an inner tube and gently ride with the creek or river -- think of a lazy river at the water park. While river tubing is mostly sitting and enjoying the scenery, you might fall out of the tube at areas with rapidly moving water, forcing you to swim to retrieve your tube. Depending on the type of swimming stroke you do, adding 30 minutes of swimming to your day of tubing can burn between 180 and 488 calories, depending on your weight.

Assisted Tubing

Assisted tubing uses a boat to move you through the water, rather than the current. With assisted tubing, you hold onto a long rope to connect you and the boat, but you usually lie on your stomach on the tube. Several arm muscles are engaged the entire time you are doing assisted tubing, which builds muscle and burns calories. While assisted tubing and waterskiing aren’t identical, they burn a similar amount of calories -- between 180 and 266 calories in 30 minutes, according to Harvard Medical School.

Snow Tubing

Snow tubing businesses usually have some kind of motorized assistance to get you back to the top of the hill, but if you are tubing on a neighborhood hill you will have to use your own manpower to get reset. According to "Northern Virginia Magazine," snow tubing can burn 477 calories in an hour, if you weigh 155 pounds and are walking back up the hill. According to the Marshfield Area Coalition for Healthy Lifestyles, however, snow tubing can burn as many as 600 calories in an hour if you are putting in a vigorous effort.

Increasing Calorie Burn

Adding swimming to your water tubing adventure can burn extra calories, but so can treading water. Treading water for 30 minutes can burn between 300 and 444 calories. To burn the most calories per minute while in the water, try the crawl or butterfly strokes, which both burn 330 to 488 calories in a half hour. If snow activities suit your location better, cross country skiing can burn as many as 355 calories in just 30 minutes.

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