beach-based exercise

Sweat on the sand: How to stay fit with beach-based exercise this summer

by Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation, July 25, 2017

When a beach comes to mind, you might immediately have images of lounging, relaxing and doing as little physical activity as possible while soaking in the sun. This is a fine image and one that most people have, but it’s not the only way to spend time on a beach.

Before—or after—reclining your beach chair to its lowest notch, why not fit in a workout and take advantage of what the beach has to offer? Whether you’re on vacation on a remote beach with minimal access to training facilities or you live near a beach and are looking to change up your routine, exercising on the beach can fill in some fitness gaps and keep your routine going strong.

In addition to being incredibly scenic, brisk walking and running on the sand can actually be a simple way to burn more calories per step without even needing to increase the incline or push your pace. This is due to the fact that the soft surface of sand has more “give” and absorbs more energy than pavement, which forces your muscles to work extra hard when pushing off. This effect of running in the sand may help to increase your strength, but its uneven and inconsistent surface can also be dangerous and lead to injury. For these reasons, try to limit the amount of time you spend running on the beach.

Brisk walking and running aren’t the only beach-based activities either. For those of you looking for more of a strength-oriented workout, try push-ups, squats, toe raises, lunges and scissor kicks. Once again, the sand will provide a different stimulus to your muscles and help you keep them toned more efficiently.

If you’re interested in running on the beach, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Stretch your entire body for five minutes before and after each run
  • Choose the right footwear with enough shock absorption and stability
  • Try to only run on tighter, more packed, preferably wet sand on flat surfaces; avoid dry sand and sloped surfaces
  • Start small with shorter distances and gradually work your way up

Doing absolutely nothing may be your ideal way of spending time on a beach, and we don’t want to take that away from you. But we ask you to consider this: won’t the “nothing” feel even better if it’s a reward after a four-mile beach run?

For any aches or pains from any physical activity, contact us at Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation in Washington, D.C. at 202-223-1737 or e-mail to schedule an appointment today.

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