A day at the beach can mean soaking up rays, but it can also mean getting in lots of fun activity! This weekend when you head off to the beach, consider doing some of the following activities to get in your exercise for the day:
Paddle Ball: You can play Paddle Ball for hours and not even realize you are getting any exercise. Make your partner run to get to the ball instead of lobbing it directly to them and have them do the same for you. For a little extra intensity, take it into the water. A great paddle ball set on Amazon: Franklin Paddleball Set.
Body Surfing: Body surfing challenges you in a lot of different ways. First, you'll have to swim out far enough to catch a wave and will battle the incoming waves to do so. Second, because of the unpredictability of the waves, you'll get tossed around causing you to use your muscles in ways that you wouldn't normally. Third, you need to keep moving 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: 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!
Beach Volleyball: Beach volleyball is lots of fun and great exercise. Keep your teams to no more than two or three people so that you have to move more during the game.
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.
Here are some more detail around the benefits of getting in exercise at the beach:
Lower Body Workout: Whether on land or in the ocean, you'll get a great lower body workout. Swimming, requires you use your lower body to float, while moving in the sand challenges your muscles because it absorbs your energy versus deflecting it, as you would experience on hard, non-malleable surfaces.
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.
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.
Cardio: All of these activities require you to move, which will get your heart rate pumping!
Do you exercise at the beach? What activities do you enjoy?
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