Summer is here, and it’s a time for camping, spending time with friends, and going to the beach. Everyone loves going to the beach, but what do you do once you get there? Do you lounge under the warm sun, erect a one-of-a-kind sandy stronghold, or do you put your body to work with a warm and refreshing beach workout?
The beach is a summertime staple, and it’s also a phenomenal place to train your body. The warm sun, fresh air, and beautiful scenery are exhilarating, and the sand between your toes forces your muscles to work differently — making them even stronger.
Here are 4 great ways you can put the work in at the beach!
Go for a Run in the Sand
Running in the sand — especially barefoot — is a great way to change up your running routine. A run on the beach is easy on your joints but duly tough on your muscles.
When you run on a hard surface, your weight-bearing joints — like the knees, hips, and ankles — get pounded every time your foot strikes the ground. On sand, it’s just the opposite.
Since sand is a soft surface, it cushions your feet and actually puts less stress on those joints. In fact, this can even help reduce the risk of impact-related injuries — such as stress fractures and joint pain.
Additionally, a run in the sand works your muscles in a different way than they’re used to. As the sand falls around your feet with each step, your legs have to work harder to stay in stride. Your core is also more active during this process in order to maintain stability on an unstable surface.
There’s also a simple and effective way to increase the load of this beach workout. Where the sand meets the water, the ground is more solid. However, as you get further away from the ocean, it gets looser and becomes less stable. Running in looser sand is an easy way to make your run more difficult and work your muscles harder.
Get Competitive with a Game
The beach creates a unique environment that favors a competitive game of… whatever you can think of! Playing a sport in the sand challenges your body in much of the same ways running does, but playing adds a social component. This makes it a fun beach workout that you can do with friends!
Here’s a list of popular sports to play on the beach:
- Volleyball is likely the most recognizable beach sport, and it remains a lively contest to be a part of.
- Beach soccer takes everything you love about soccer and amplifies it. The sand even makes the game more unpredictable and fun as a result.
- Ultimate frisbee is a new spin on a timeless classic. It’s like football, only you toss a disk; how can that be bad?
- Spikeball is relatively new but it’s a 2v2 sport where people hit a ball at a small trampoline-like net and try to catch the other team off guard. It’s fast-paced and a lot of fun.
There’s no reason a beach workout can’t be fun! Embracing your competitive side and playing a sport is a great way to be active under the sun.
Get Some Yoga In
Yoga can increase flexibility, improve muscle tone, and enhance your breath. Yoga as a beach workout can do that and more.
Plenty of yoga apps offer ambient beach sounds that you can use as you perform a practice, but a simulated beach pales in comparison to the real thing. The salty air will invigorate and refresh you as you curl into upward-facing dog. The sun and the ocean will create an ethereal scene as you rise into Warrior II.
Furthermore, the instability of the sand will force your muscles to work harder to maintain stability. Much like when running, this will force your core to adapt and get stronger.
The sun will boost the production of vitamin D in your body. This will help keep you feeling at your best — so long as you protect yourself with some sunscreen.
Implement Active Recovery into Your Training
After a day of intense training — whether it be a heavy lift in the weight room or a long day of intervals on the track — active recovery promotes blood circulation and aids in muscle repair. Getting your active recovery in on the beach just makes it more enjoyable.
Active recovery can look like a lot of things. It can be a leisurely run, a refreshing swim, or a friendly game of soccer. When you’re on the beach, pretty much any of the above activities — and more — can serve as active recovery so long as it’s of low-to-moderate intensity.
What Will Your Beach Workout Look Like?
Going to the beach is a summertime staple, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be active when you’re there. In fact, a beach workout can actually make your trip more rewarding.
Whatever you choose to do at the beach — run, do yoga, or anything else — it’s sure to leave you glowing at the end of the day. Just be sure to wear sunscreen so that you’re not glowing red.
What does your ideal beach workout look like? Let us know in the comments!