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7 Ways To Keep Fit On The Beach

3 MIN READ • 6th February 2023

Keeping up your fitness on holiday may seem daunting, but these tips and techniques will help you stay on top form and stop you burying your head in the sand...

  • Frisbee
    “If you’re looking for something a little more active on the beach than bat and ball, frisbee is definitely the way to go,” says Britain’s women’s beach Ultimate Frisbee captain Rebecca Forth (tiny.cc/GreatBritain). “Ultimate involves explosive running and frequent changes of directions. Of course, the thick, fluffy sand is the place to play, and it doesn’t take too long before you’ll be breathing very hard. Playing on the sand makes it harder to keep your core still when you are throwing, which means you have to pick your legs up higher, driving your knees harder.”

  • Sea Walking
    “Any water-based activity such as walking in the sea provides a low impact, variable resistance environment,” informs fitness fx programme developer Greg Sellar (fitness-fx.com). “The principles of sea walking are the same as on land, but depending on how deep you go, you’ll get more resistance. The buoyancy factor provides support for your body, reducing the likelihood of injury.
    With a decrease in weight-bearing load, there is reduced stress on joints while muscles experience a greater demand in both the contraction and elongation phases of each step taken.”

  • Surfing
    “Surfing is a great overall cardiovascular workout that targets every muscle in your body,” says personal trainer Dominic Bowser (soundmindandbody.co.uk). “It’s lots of fun and you can do it for hours without even realising you’re doing any exercise, burning hundreds of calories in the process.
    “There’s a reason surfers have a great six pack, as there’s no better core stability or abs workout, what with the constant twisting and turning to maintain balance. As well as this, paddling and pushing yourself up onto the surfboard is a great explosive exercise, working all the muscles in your arms, chest, back and shoulders. And, the fact you have to paddle flat-out for short periods makes it a great form of high intensity interval training (HIIT).”

  • Soft sand running
    “Running along the beach is a scenic way to boost your fitness while on holiday,” says personal trainer Matt Ford (lifefitness.co.uk). “It creates less stress on your joints than road running, and strengthens your smaller muscles, stabilising your knees, ankles and feet. It is said to use one and a half times more energy than road running, boosting your metabolism. Also, because sand has less rebound than pavement, the muscles in your legs and bum engage more than in a normal run, increasing power and tone. To avoid injury, build up times gradually as you are using your muscles differently; and, look for flat surfaces so you don’t create an imbalance.”

  • Yoga
    “What can be more therapeutic than performing yoga on the beach, your toes gripping the sand, while the sun sets on some idyllic tropical shore?” enthuses personal trainer Matt Lawrence (weightlossrevolutions.co.uk). “The benefits of yoga lie not just in improved fitness, balance and flexibility, but also in stress reduction and improved confidence. Yoga has also been known to help manage conditions such as depression, anxiety and insomnia. You also don’t need any equipment, just somewhere safe and warm to perform the various poses.
    Simply wear something loose and comfortable as you enjoy the fresh air, sunlight and the view as you relax.”

  • Swimming in the sea
    “Waves, wind and the unevenness of swells and tides create a unique muscle experience when swimming in the open sea,” says fitness expert Greg Sellar (fitness-fx.com). “Your stroke and pace will be greatly disrupted and this leads to a quicker fatigue time than swimming in a pool. Unless the water is crystal clear, you will have to lift your head to see where you are going. You should be able to swim 5-7 strokes before lifting your head without seriously straying off course. Swimming along the shoreline is recommended to begin with, and it’s a good idea to also let a lifeguard know your plans so they can keep an eye on you.”

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