Chances are that when you go to the beach, most of the people are there to relax, soak up some sun and spend some time lying around. The last thing that most people think about while at the beach, is exercise. However, it can provide an excellent place to get some activity which can lead to some fun calorie burning activities. The exercises done at the beach in the fresh ocean air can be looked at as a reward and nice break from the hum drum activity done in the gym with indoor lighting and recirculated air from the air conditioning and heating systems. Many fitness holidays use the beach in their program for that reason.
The beach has several advantages if you would like to workout there, let’s look at some:
The water – The water at the beach can offer a way to add resistance to your body in ways that are difficult to get elsewhere. One example is that the water can offer resistance to the whole body if you go farther out, or just the legs closer to the shore. A treadmill in the gym cannot mimic this type of movement.
Swimming is an activity that can be done at the beach of course. Most gyms don’t offer this. Even if it is it is going to be separate from the rest of the gym. Being that the beach has the water right there, it is possible to add swimming to circuit training.
Sand on the shore – There will usually be two types of surfaces the sand provides. It will be packed where the tide comes in near the water. This is where you can do exercises that require balance.
Farther away from the water there is typically a softer surface. The soft surface offers several benefits. Because it is soft it will be easier on the joints if you choose to run or walk in it. The soft sand absorbs energy. For this reason it will require more work if you choose to add jumping or running to your activity at the beach. It will also allow you to perform exercises that you would typically do on a mat in the gym, such as knee pushups or situps.
It is easy to mark off distances in the sand. These can be used in circuit training for activities like shuttle runs. The beach can add variety to your workouts. Those who use circuit training can design a circuit using bodyweight exercises easily and can add some things that would typically be impossible to do at a commercial gym or at home.
You can get the family involved. Usually your family will be with you at the beach. This does not mean having the entire family doing pushups and jumping jacks. However, there are numerous activities a family can do at the beach that are fun and will burn some calories. Bringing along a Frisbee, soccer ball, or volley ball can be a way to get the family involved in some activity and also have some fun. Why did you bring the family to the beach? It is usually to have some fun.
Distraction – Typically, I would say never let yourself be distracted when exercising for safety. However, there are times when a little distraction while doing some endurance exercise, such as jogging, will allow us to take our minds off the exercise and the time we have spent doing it. We can enjoy the scenery, breathe in the fresh air, and listen to the ocean while we are doing our activity. The distraction can make the time seem to pass faster.
Even though working out at the beach may be fun, there are some things to consider when you are thinking about adding some exercise while you’re there.
Of course be sure to bring some sunblock. The sun’s rays can be strong even if it is cloudy. Make sure it is sunblock that will not wash off from sweat or water from swimming. When swimming, make sure there are lifeguards and be careful of sea life and tides that may carry you out into the ocean. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
During your daily routine there are types of exercises that are difficult to do such as swimming. So the next time you go to the beach, consider doing something more than just catching some rays. It can offer new and challenging types of exercise and give you a fitness retreat.