For most people, the ideal beach vacation mainly consists of napping in the sun, reading trashy novels and working on a killer tan, with the occasional dip in the sea or sunset stroll. That’s all well and good for a weekend beach holiday, but if you keep up that lazy attitude for a week or more your overall fitness will begin to suffer. Here are some easy and fun ways to get some exercise and stay fit while on a beach vacation.
Playing games like beach volleyball, Frisbee, and beach football have always been a part of more active beach holidays. They also provide a fun way to get active while at the beach. Because you’re playing a game rather than completing an exercise circuit, working out won’t actually feel like work! One relatively new addition to the beach sports scene is beach tennis. This sport is kind of like a combination of tennis and volleyball, because while it is played with a ball and a small paddle-like racquet, it uses a volleyball-height net and the ball is not allowed to touch the ground. Virtually any of these beach sports provide great exercise, because your body has to work harder to run and jump in soft sand.
One disadvantage of using games to get your beach exercise in is that most games require equipment and a partner. One beach sport you can practice on your own is beach football. Just dribble the ball up and down the packed sand at the water’s edge to add some extra fun to your morning jog.
When it comes to exercising on the beach, you can basically do any sort of exercise that doesn’t require special equipment, like sit-ups, push-ups, squats, lunges, etc. However, there are a few types of exercises that are especially suited to sandy beaches:
Draw three parallel lines in the sand, and stand over the middle one with your knees bent slightly. Now run or shuffle back and forth between the lines, touching the right line with your right hand and the left line with your left hand, returning to the center after every rep. You can vary the distance between the lines depending on how much sprinting you want to do.
Skip along in the sand, keeping your knees up and jumping as high as you can on each skip. This is great for balance and for a leg workout.
Sprint up the beach in an inland direction. This works best on beaches with a significant slope, because fighting the incline and the shifting sand will really give you a run for your money.
You will want to do these exercises barefoot on the soft, dry sand, because it is better for your ankles than the wet stuff, and also because its lack of stability boosts the difficulty and calorie-burning power of your workout.
Remember, before doing any type of athletic activity on the beach, you need to make sure your muscles are warm and your body is fully hydrated.