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.
We will look at some of the advantages of working out at the beach:
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. For example, when one is running in water, the water offers resistance to the feet first, as you get into deeper water there is resistance to the entire legs, and then the entire body. This type of resistance is difficult to mimic on a gym treadmill.
The water, of course, also adds swimming to the activities that can be done at the beach. This is something that is not offered at most gyms. 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 – The sand on the beach will typically have two types of surfaces. Near the water, where the tide comes in and goes out, it may be packed. With a packed surface, it offers a stable surface that can allow for a multitude of exercises that require balance, such as one leg squats.
Farther away from the water there is typically a softer surface. The soft surface offers several benefits. It is good for walking or running as it will be easier on the joints. The soft surface requires more work from you if you are running, walking, or jumping as the energy from the legs are absorbed by the sand. 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.
The sand also offers an easy way to mark distances. Using lines drawn in the sand, we can use them for shuttle runs. The beach can add variety to your workouts. If you do circuit training, it is easy to design a bodyweight exercise circuit while you are at the beach that will include things that you cannot get at a gym, or at home.
Getting the family involved – Chances are you will be with your family when you go to 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. After all, the reason families go to the beach is to have 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. Thus, it can seem like the time passes quicker.
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.
The beach can allow us to try different forms of exercise we may not be used to or cannot do in our daily routine. So the next time you go to the beach, consider doing something more than just catching some rays. It can be an excellent place to try something new and different!