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Now that summer weather is here, it’s tempting to use your local beach for relaxing and sunbathing, but instead try using it as your personal, more beautiful, sandy gym. Think about it. You’ve got ready-made resistance training facilities (aka sand), hills or stairs to run up and down, and an ocean to dip in after — all this and a stunning view, as well. Deanna Mascioli, personal trainer and naturopath, explains how you can get the most of out your beach fitness regimen, safely.

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Circuit training

“Circuits are a great way to train,” says Deanna.“You get a variety of exercises that can be tailored to target the whole body, plus equipment isn’t always necessary and time is your best friend.” With a whole beach as your playground, your workout is only limited by your imagination. Use Deanna’s suggestions below to get started and amend them as you need to. Just watch out for any snoozing sunbathers!

  1. 10 push ups
  2. 10 walking lunges
  3. 10 squats
  4. 10 sit ups
  5. 10 tricep dips
  6. Plank for one minute
  7. Sprint for 30 meters

Repeat the above five times, with a minute’s rest in between sets. Experiment with mixing up and changing the exercises, reps and sets until you find something that works for you.

 

Running

Running on sand is challenging but great. As Deanna explains, “It provides an unstable surface, so it makes your body work hard to balance by causing activation of those core muscles, and it provides extra resistance. Running on sand is good for fitness and also builds strength in the legs.” Try exercising with bare feet to give your body a real fitness test.

If you want to raise the stakes of your exercise routine, try changing direction while running, as this uses different muscles. You can mark out about six to eight points in the sand that are facing each other, then try running between them, so you’re moving in diagonal lines. Repeat this three times to really get the heart pumping. 

Sand is one of the toughest surfaces to sprint on, so test yourself by giving it a go. Aim to sprint for about 20 seconds, as fast as you can, then walk slowly for 10 seconds and sprint again. Repeat in sets of three, about eight to 10 times.

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Water fitness

According to Deanna, walking or running in shallow water (or waist-deep if it’s safe to do so) adds extra resistance to your workout.

Try swimming in the sea if you’re a competent swimmer — strike out for 50 strokes away from the shore, then swim back and repeat three times. “Swimming is a good all-round activity because it keeps your heart rate up, but takes some of the impact stress off your body,” explains Deanna. “It also builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.”

Importantly, when in the water, remember to stay between the flags and listen to the lifeguards’ instructions.

 

Take care

Make sure your beach workout is a good one by following Deanna’s tips for staying safe:

  • Always wear sun protection.
  • Take a drink bottle and sip water before, during and after working out.
  • Check your training area for any hidden dangers, such as broken glass.
  • Be careful around water.
  • If you’re new to training on the beach, always check in with a professional.