It is beach season and a day at the beach can be lots of fun! The best thing about going to the beach is that there are a lot of fun activities you can do that actually can give you a decent workout. You’ll get in exercise without the drudgery of going to the gym. Working out or playing at the beach offers some of the following benefits:
- Lower-Impact to Joints: Jumping, running and hopping on pavement is hard on your joints. Doing activities in the sand, however, creates less impact to your joints and can effectively strengthen them in the process. Further, swimming and exercising in the water causes no impact to joints at all.
- Lower Body Training: All of the following activities will give you lower body strength training benefits. When swimming, you will rely on your lower body to stay afloat and to maneuver through the water. On land, moving in the sand will challenge you due to the sand’s absorption of your energy versus reflecting your energy, as you would experience on hard, non-malleable surfaces. As a result, your leg muscles are worked harder and you burn more calories.
- Upper Body Training: Swimming, hitting volleyballs and playing paddle ball will give your upper body some great resistance training to tone and sculpt your arms.
- Cardio: All of these activities require you to move, which will get your heart rate pumping!
- Beach Volleyball: Beach volleyball is timeless, fun and great exercise. Try to keep your teams small…no more than three or four people…so that you have to cover greater territory during the game.
- Paddle Ball: Paddle Ball is one of those games that you can play for hours and not even realize you are getting any exercise. The key is to MOVE. Try to make your partner run to get to the ball instead of lobbing it directly to them everytime. Have them do the same for you and by the end of the day, you’ll feel the burn! For a little extra intensity, take it into the water. A great paddle ball set can be purchased on Amazon: Franklin Paddleball Set.
- Body Surfing: Probably one of the hardest workouts listed here, body surfing challenges you in a lot of different ways. First, you’ll have to swim out far enough to catch a wave and you’ll have to battle the incoming waves to do so. Secondly, you’ll be tossed around quite a bit, which will cause you to use your muscles in ways that you wouldn’t normally. Third, you can’t really take a break because you are constantly working to stay afloat. The great thing too is that you don’t need a surf-board or any other expensive equipment.
- Run on the Beach: The one thing I love about running on the beach is that you can do so barefoot. Since the impact is less than on a hard surface and the sand molds to your feet, the need for sneakers virtually goes away (Just be careful so as to not step on glass, shells or rocks). Also, running on the beach is a much better cardiovascular workout and is much more challenging than running on pavement or on a treadmill. The best part? You can jump into the water to cool off!
- Walk in the Water: Walking in the water keeps you cool while you burn calories. The trick here is to walk in water that is at least one foot deep. This is a great workout for two reasons: 1) you’ll get the resistance of the sand and 2) you’ll get the resistance of the water. The higher the level of the water, the more resistance you’ll have and the harder you’ll have to work.
Do you exercise at the beach? What activities do you enjoy?