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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. When most people are at the beach exercise is probably the last thing that they are thinking about. The beach offers a great location for getting into shape. One can use the beach to get away from the artificial lighting and air conditioning that is recirculated and enjoy the fresh air as a break. The beach is used by many companies who offer a fitness holiday for that reason.
The beach has several advantages if you would like to workout there, let’s look at some:
Of course there is water – It is difficult to get the type of resistance to the body that water can provide. 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. A treadmill in the gym cannot mimic this type of movement.
The water of course also ads swimming to the activities that can be done at the beach. Again this is something that is not offered at most gyms. If the gym does offer it is will be away from where you would be typically exercising. If you do circuit training and wish to add swimming to your list of exercises it is easy to do.
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. There are a couple of benefits the soft surface offers. 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. If you usually require mats for exercises, such as situps or pushups, you can do them in the soft sand without hurting your joints.
The sand also offers an easy way to mark distances. These can be used in circuit training for activities like 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. The family doesn’t have to join in your exercise circuit or your running. But, there are activities that are fun for the whole family that will get them on their feet and active. To get the family involved bring a frisbee, volleyball, or a football. After all, the reason families go to the beach is to have fun.
The beach also offers a distraction. Usually for safety, I would say stay focused and don’t get distracted. 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.
Please consider the following things if you choose to exercise at the beach.
Of course be sure to bring some sunblock. The sun’s rays can be strong even if it is cloudy. Be positive it is waterproof and will not wash away from swimming or sweat. If you go swimming do it around where there are lifeguards. Be careful of sea life and tides that can sweep you away from the shore. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
During your daily routine there are types of exercises that are difficult to do such as swimming. When you are at the beach the next time, us it as a chance to be active. It can be an excellent place to try something new and different and have a fitness holiday!
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