If maintaining a workout routine during the year is difficult for some people, in the summer that challenge grows even bigger. This happens because you want to get away from the routine and you also tend to be more relaxed this time of the year. Alongside with this tendency, comes a strong will to abandon your workouts and surrender to laziness.
The truth is, summer isn’t an excuse to skip your workouts. You have more energy and free time, and you should use it to look after yourself. If comes a time you have to choose between the gym and the beach, go ahead and do it. The beach is the perfect gym for you and there are various reasons to avoid stopping completely:
– Your muscles are warmer and, for that reasons, less susceptible to injuries;
– The physical activities practiced on the sand require more effort and endurance, which means that they can help you achieve better results;
Note: A study published on the Journal of Strength Conditioning and Resistance states that it is possible to burn almost double the calories by practicing exercise on the beach, comparing to practising the same exercise on a stable surface.
– The brain receives double the oxygen it would receive if you were in a closed environment.
– It is much more fun and relaxing than being inside four walls;
You only need to consider the following factors:
– The best time to exercise. Usually in the morning or late in the afternoon. Avoid the period between 12h and 16h because of the radiation, strong heat, risk of dehydration and number of people on the beach.
– Use an adequate sunscreen, preferably waterproof.
– Drink water while resting from exercise to exercise. It’s hotter so you’ll easily dehydrate if you are not careful.
After this you only need to be creative and avoid lying on the towel the whole time. Check out some workout exercises you can do on the beach.
1. Running or walking on the sand.
Running or waling on the sand causes less impact on our articulations besides burning more calories than doing it on a treadmill. About 70% of our body muscles are activated during this aerobic activity. Walking for 30 minutes burns, in average, 100kcal, while running burns approximately 200kcal. By running in the sand you stimulate about 70 thousand nerve endings on the balls of your feet.
2. Slackline or tightrope walking.
Take advantage of your vacations and try a new modality which was born on the Brazilian beaches and its winning more and more fans throughout the world. It is a good workout to strengthen the core and to test your capabilities, because you have to maintain balance while you walk on webbing o when you risk other movers: to sit, to raise a foot or even jump. You only need a nylon line with approximately 5cm wide so that it can be tied on both edges about 30 cm over the floor. Afterwards, you only need to cross it from one side to the other without falling. As you gain confidence and balance you can risk even more extreme modalities as trickline (jumping over the line), longline ( crossing lines with several metres of length), highline (with more than 5 metres high).
3. Frescobol or beach tennis.
It is a very funny activity and a great aerobic exercise which helps you improve your motor coordination while working your legs and arms. About one 1h of frescobol allows you to burn approximately 200kcal. Play it next to the sea because the water at the ankle level will difficult the execution of the movements and consume 15% more calories. The more experienced practitioners that can keep playing without constant interruptions can burn 534 to 712kcal in just one hour.
4. Stand-Up Paddle.
This modality is an ancient form of practicing surf. On this version, the practitioner stands on the board and allows him to paddle through a short or a long distance. It is an excellent physical conditioning activity that helps you improve your balance, concentration and strengthen the core (abdomen, rectum, transversus, oblique and lumbar region) besides arms and legs. Practicing paddle for an hour allows you to burnsbetween 300 and 390kcal.
5. Pedalling on the sand.
It’s not very efficient, but it is possible. Pedalling on the sand might be tougher than attending a spinning lesson. It strengthens the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, accelerates the metabolism and fortifies your muscles. The unstable surface and the air influence provide more muscular endurance to your gluteus, gemellus, thighs and abdomen. This activity equals an intense strength endurance class with a variation of the heart rate around 75 and 85%.
Surfing increases up to 85% your cardiorespiratory fitness and strengthens your arm and thorax muscles. It is an activity that challenges your balance. You can lose up to 600kcal per hour. If this is not your wave, know that swimming for 30 minutes burns, approximately, 260kcal.
It is not an aerobic activity. Yet, it requires a lot of dynamic, static and explosive strength of your upper limbs, arms, back, shoulders, forearms and lower limbs. You can burn between 304 and 400kcal for an hour of activity.
When you finish your aerobic workout, do some abs on the sand. If you want to increase the level of difficulty, you can do leg raises, lateral flies and isometric positions. Control your breathing (inhale as you go down and exhale going up) and maintain your abdomen contracted during these moves.
You can also practice other conventional activities as beach soccer which allows you to burn between 460 to 614kcal per hour; volleyball which lets you burn around 150kcal in 30 minutes; or doing specific exercises as: push-ups, crouches, lunges, etc. Any exercise is valid as long as you stay active and fit during all year. Don’t forget the stretches!
N/d, Nove exercícios ideias para praticar no Verão, n/d, translation and adaptation of the original version
N/d, Beach & water activities, n/d, adaptation of the original version
Cristina Goyanes, Take your workout outside!, June 2012, adaptation of the original version
N/d, Os melhores exercícios para fazer na praia, June 2012, translation and adaptation of the original version
Cândida Hansen, Veja exercícios para praticar na beira da praia e manter a saúde, January 2013, translation and adaptation of the original version