The beach is the perfect outdoor workout area. The unstable surface helps build your stability, agility, and muscle strength. The beautiful scenery and fresh air offer more benefits to your physical and mental health, as well.
Exercising at the beach also allows you to get closer to and know more about nature. With the oceans under threat due to pollution, climate change, and other human-caused hazards, the shorelines are the best places to join activities for environmental protection that can give you excellent workouts at the same time.
But since going to the beach means having fun, as well, you have to choose workouts that will you enjoy doing, too.
If you want to try working out on the seashore, here are five exercises you will enjoy doing and can help you stay fit and healthy:
The most basic yet still effective and enjoyable exercise you can do on the beach is to run on the sand.
Due to the uneven and soft surface, running on the beach will cause you to expend more energy than running on paved roads or sidewalks. This is because the sand shifts as you push off; as such, you need more strength and power as you move.
As a result, you will burn more calories as you run.
But even if running on the beach requires more energy and stamina, your risk for injury is lower. The sand absorbs some of your weight as you land, thus, reducing the impact transmitted to your joints.
Because of this, running on sand is easier on your knees and hips.
If you don’t feel like running, a 30-minute walk or stroll on the beach will allow you to get an excellent workout, as well.
Another activity that you probably can’t skip doing whenever you are at a beach is swimming.
Swimming is one of the best aerobic exercises around. A half-hour swim can help you burn hundreds of calories. This, in turn, will help you reduce body fat and build your muscles, thereby allowing you to maintain a fit body.
Frequent dips at the beach can help you increase your flexibility, as well.
Lastly, swimming is one of the most relaxing must-try activities. The weightlessness of water typically has a calming effect on the mind, allowing you to forget your worries. The repetitive strokes and immersion in the water can also serve as a form of soothing meditation, too.
3. Kayaking and canoeing
In case you want to try a new water-based activity or sport that is fun, relaxing, and healthy all at the same time, go for kayaking or canoeing.
These two activities are perfect for those wanting to lose weight and build muscles. They target various parts of your upper body, allowing you to have a stronger core, back, arms, and shoulders. Kayaking and canoeing are also easy on your joints.
Like swimming, kayaking and canoeing offer a variety of mental health benefits, too. These include stress reduction and improved focus and memory.
If you want to try these activities, you don’t have to worry about buying a canoe or kayak and paddles. You can rent them at stalls at the beach.
Another point worth considering is that you can enjoy kayaking and canoeing in other bodies of water as well. You can try these activities in lakes or rivers that can be found in wildlife sanctuaries and other areas to know more about these ecosystems and the wildlife found in them.
Standup paddleboarding is another fun yet not too strenuous must-try beach activity.
This sport is highly effective in helping you improve your balance, endurance, and stamina. It is also great for strengthening your ankles, legs, arms, and joints. Standup paddleboarding helps corrects your posture, too.
Additionally, paddleboarding is an outstanding type of cardiovascular activity. Because of this reason, it is a superb workout that will help you burn calories, reduce body fat, and stay fit.
Paddleboarding also has stress-relieving effects. Standing in the water, surrounded by the blue sea and a peaceful background, can make you forget your worries.
5. Beach volleyball
Finally, if you want to engage in a sport that you and your friends can enjoy and help you widen your social circle, try beach volleyball.
This sport requires you to be on your toes and constantly moving. As such, it is effective in helping you burn calories and fat and building your muscle tone and strength. Playing it on the sand enables you to improve your stamina and endurance too.
Beach volleyball also enhances your hand-eye coordination.
Since you will play this sport with others, you can strengthen your bond with your friends. You will also meet new people, thus allowing you to improve your interpersonal skills.
Whatever exercise you want to do, take the necessary precautions to protect yourself when you work out on the beach. Always wear sunscreen with at least 30 SPF before going outdoors. Apply it every two hours, as well.
Additionally, wear sunglasses and a beach hat whenever possible. Always stay hydrated, too. Bring a refillable water bottle so that you can take a sip throughout your stay outdoors.
Lastly, avoid staying out too long during the hottest parts of the day. To stay safe and healthy, choose the right time to work out and have fun on the beach.
Rasha El Saleh is the Conservation Education and Outreach Coordinator in the education team of Emirates Nature-WWF working on its programme, Connect with Nature. She leads the outreach and youth empowerment aspect in growing the Connect with Nature community within the UAE and providing opportunities for youth to lead in this community, in addition to supporting partnerships with vendors supporting and promoting active aspects of the programme.