Before you unfold your beach chair ocean side and pop open a seltzer, how about getting in a workout? Take basic movements from solid land and put them in the sand for a great beach workout.
The unstable surface of the shifting ground provides a cardiovascular, balance, and muscular challenge that will leave you feeling like you earned a vacation. However, before beginning the exercises below (which are featured by the American Council on Exercise as beach worthy) warm-up with barefoot walking or jogging for 10-15 minutes near the surf where the sand is spongy. Then, drink some water! Dehydration can sneak up on you at the beach when the winds are warm, and the sun is shining.
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There are two different intensity levels suggested for most of the exercises below. Choose what works for you. Measure out a straightaway of about 20-30 long strides and place a marker at each end. Between each exercise, you will do Lifeguard Sprints, running forward to your away marker and backward to home. If you want to avoid impact on joints, speed walk instead of running.
4 Exercises for an Incredible Beach Workout
Think cool thoughts and dig deep to find your inner speed skater. Start with feet together and take a huge step out to your right. Cross your left leg behind the right at the end of the step. Repeat on the other side. If you’re comfortable, change the move into a leap. Once you get moving, let your arms swing naturally to help propel the leap or side-step. Move forward to your away mark and back. (Lifeguard Sprint X 3)
2) Crab Walk
Harness the power of nearby creatures hiding in the sand. Squat down and place your hands behind you on the ground. Keep your rear-end lifted and start moving forward, Crab Walking down the stretch. When you get to the away mark, start moving backward to home. Then face the ocean and move left down the stretch to the away mark. Move right to get home. (Lifeguard Sprint X 3)
3) Spider Crawl
Are there spiders at the beach? Of course, there are! Celebrate arachnids by getting into plank position and doing a Spider Crawl. Bring your right foot next to your right hand as you move your left hand forward. Then walk left leg up as you move your right hand forward. Keep your hips low and level as you move forward down the stretch. Try moving backward to get home. If Spider Crawling isn’t your thing, hold a plank 1 minute for three sets. (Lifeguard Sprint X 3)
4) Jump and Reach/Bull Frogs
Act like another water loving animal and work the heck out of your legs with Bull Frog /Jump and Reach. Squat with your feet shoulder width apart. Swing your arms dynamically and jump forward. Do this all the way down the stretch and back. If you think jumping might make you croak (ha!), stay put and do squats for two minutes. (Lifeguard Sprint X 3)
End your beach workout with a stretch. Then unfold that chair, unlatch the cooler and coast through the rest of your beach day!