It’s time to take your workouts out of the gym and onto the beach! Whether you’re lucky enough to live at the beach or you’re preparing for your upcoming trip to the beach, these 5 workouts are your best bets for working out while on the sand, in the sun and near the surf. Try one or try them all. You’ll get the inherent benefits of beautiful coastal views and fresh salt air as instant mood boosters. Not to mention that the sun feels really good on your skin—and then there’s the added resistance you’ll receive from the sand itself, making it a better and more efficient workout for you no matter which exercise you choose. So many reasons to love beach workouts!
Here are our top picks for 5 of the best beach workouts ever. Are you doing any of these?
1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is hot in the workout world and for good reason. It’s a high power cardio and strength training workout all rolled into one. High Intensity Workout Training is a natural choice for a beach workout because it doesn’t require any special equipment and it conditions your entire body, combining both aerobic and anaerobic elements.
What would you expect in a typical HIIT workout? Good question! You’ll find a mix of exercises like planks, jumps, push-ups, mountain climbers, lunges, squats and sprints to name a few of the many hard-hitting and powerful moves to sculpt and tone your body. You can try these 3 HIIT Workouts You Can Take to the Beach to get started.
2. Taking a Swim
Swimming is still one of the best total body workouts that a person can do and is one of the most effective activities to get fit quickly. Why? Swimming helps you manage your weight by burning a decent amount of calories. In a 30-minute breathstroke swim, you can expect to burn an average of 367 calories. That’s more than 30-minutes of walking, cycling or running.
In addition to burning calories, swimming is known to be a stress-relieving exercise that refreshes and renews. Being in water has a natural way of relieving stress and tension. With water being about 44 times more resistant than air, swimming is an effective way to build and strengthen muscles without using any weights. And because you’re only bearing approximately 10% of your body weight in water due to buoyancy, swimming is a wonderful low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints, bones and muscles. Your chances of injury are much less because of this.
When you’re at the beach, you may as well take the added benefit of working out in a cool, refreshing body of water. No sweating here! You can read more about the benefits of swimming and why it is one of the best and fastest ways to get in shape here.
3. Walking and Running on Sand
Walking and running on sand isn’t easy. It’s like having weights around your ankles because it’s both harder to get your foot planted on the ground in soft, shifting sand and it’s harder to pick it back up. Your body has to adjust to these external modifications and therefore has to work harder.
Did you know…
- Walking on sand requires 1.6-2.5 times more mechanical work than does walking on a hard surface at the same speed
- Walking on sand requires 2.1-2.7 times more energy expenditure than does walking on a hard surface at the same speed
- Running on sand requires only 1.15 times more mechanical work than does running on a hard surface at the same speed
- Running on sand requires 1.6 times more energy expenditure than does running on a hard surface
If you’re just starting out, it’s recommended that you try walking or running during low tide on the wet, packed sand first that’s found near the water line. You’ll still be challenged but it will also help ease you in to the more difficult workout found when exercising in the higher, deeper and more challenging soft sand.
There’s no equipment needed for this excellent workout, but don’t forget your sunscreen and to be well hydrated while walking or running on the beach.
4. Riding a Bike
Biking on the beach is a challenging workout, but what better way to see the shoreline than to pedal your way along the sand? Feel the sun on your face, the salty breeze fill your lungs and enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. It’s a strong leg workout, obviously, as your glutes, calves and quads are doing most of the work. It’s also a high-calorie-burning exercise that tones well beyond just your legs. Your whole body will feel it!
If biking on the sand is too challenging, you can still bike around town, on local bike paths and explore the bike trails as alternatives. You’ll get an instant energy boost, it’s easy on the joints, good for the heart and you’ll certainly feel it in your muscles.
Check out this 90-second video clip of what it’s like to bike the Pinellas Trail which spans 38 miles from Tarpon Springs to St. Pete and covers a lot of beautiful Gulf Coast nature and Gulf beach towns in along the way. And Don’t forget that one of Plumlee Gulf Beach Realty’s exclusive perks is free bikes for your use during your stay. Put them to good use on your next Florida Gulf Coast vacation!
5. Yoga on the Beach
Don’t underestimate the power of a yoga workout. It changes your body beginning on the first day you start doing it. This mind-body practice is best known for its stress reducing and mood boosting qualities, but there’s also a wide range of health benefits that can totally transform your body. The research on the effects of yoga is still young, but the list of potential benefits is quite long and includes everything from stronger muscles, increased flexibility and weight loss to reduced anxiety, lower blood pressure and less chronic aches and pains. After longterm yoga practice, studies show that this exercise strengthens bone density, helps maintain a healthy weight, and lowers the risk of heart disease. You can read more about how yoga changes your body here.
Beach yoga is the perfect way to surround yourself with serene scenery, deeply inhale the fresh salt air, and feel the sun on your skin while you get your daily dose of Vitamin D naturally. You don’t need any equipment other than a yoga mat or just a beach towel. It’s also ideal for any age and ability level from beginner to advanced.
If you’re vacationing on the Gulf beaches of Florida, you can have a solo yoga adventure of your very own any time, or you can join in on group beach yoga classes. Pinellas County offers beach yoga on several of the area beaches including Indian Rocks Beach, Madeira Beach and Redington Shores. You can learn more about Beach Yoga Pinellas here.
Are you inspired to get out on the beach and get in a great workout? Awesome! See you on the sand.
What’s your favorite way to workout on the beach?