With the lazy temptations that can take over us in the hot summer days, it is understandable that many people take a break from the gym to enjoy the beach and live from party to party, honouring tradition that is repeated year after year.
Taking an occasional break from training from time to time can be beneficial for the body. However, we must bear in mind that neglecting our healthy lifestyle habits completely may result not only in the stagnation of our progress, but also in the regression of our fitness levels.
It seems that for many it has become a habit to leave the gym for a couple of months and then return in September, only to face similar difficulties to the ones we overcame when we first started our fitness journeys. But this year it doesn’t have to be this way, because we are going to teach you five ways you can exercise on the beach.
These activities are essential for the summer. Their purpose is not to improve us as athletes (there will be time for that later), but to maintain that cardiovascular condition and strength we have already gained over time.
Statistics indicate that at least 45% of athletes leave the gym during the summer holiday seasons. But there’s no reason we can’t enjoy the summer activities, while also avoiding suffering a setback in our progress.
1. Interval training at high intensity in the water
We know that high-intensity cardiovascular exercises are effective at improving the cardio-respiratory condition and maintaining muscle mass. What’s also helpful for us is that just a couple of minutes of it is enough to get the metabolism going.
While we’re at the beach, why not make the most of the fact that performing these exercises with water resistance will be even more beneficial? It helps us burn more calories (approximately 200 per hour), which is excellent to optimize fat burning while muscle mass is preserved.
One of the most efficient ways of making the most of this is by swimming 100 meters and then doing 10 push-ups on the curb of the pool or on the shore of the beach. After that we can work on our abdominal and leg muscles with some sit-ups and squats.
This training gets our cardiovascular systems going, as well as toning and building muscles – all while enjoying the holiday weather.
It is recommended that we perform these exercises around 3 times a week, making sure to leave a rest period of at least 24 hours between each session so as not to negatively affect performance. 20 minutes will be more than enough to complete a session, although we must also leave time to warm-up before, and also stretch after finishing the intense exercises.
2. Running on the beach
Running on the beach can be a delight, especially in the morning or evening, as you can avoid not only the crowds, but also the scorching sun. Which time of day you choose will probably depend on whether you are a morning person or not!
One of the benefits of running in the sand is that, unlike concrete, the impact on the joints, especially the knees, is not as aggressive. Despite this, it is an activity that requires more effort due to the resistance caused by the sand. This means that when performing a session of 40 to 60 minutes we can be sure that we will have burned more calories, as well as improving our cardiovascular condition and strengthening even more of our leg muscles.
The duration of the training session, as well as the distance you should attempt, will depend on each person's fitness levels. You know what you are capable of, so don’t push yourself too far, otherwise you will risk damaging your muscles.
Though some people choose to run on sand barefoot, others use special footwear. This will depend on how comfortable you are running with or without shoes.
Although yoga isn’t considered to be a sport, it can help us improve many aspects of our lives; physically, mentally and emotionally – even more so if it is practiced on the beach.
When we practice yoga we can help to eliminate some pains, as well improving our balance and coordination, which will ultimately help us perform better in high intensity workouts.
In this case we would recommend Hatha Yoga, but you could partake in any yoga which you are more comfortable with or interested in. For example, there are other versions such as Bikram Yoga, which is ideal for strengthening areas of the body such as the abdominal and lumbar area, as well as the legs and arms, depending on the positions taken.
Bikram Yoga for many, can be considered as a moderate intensity physical activity, as the movements can actually be quite cardiovascularly intense as you move from pose to pose.
Depending on where you go on holiday, you may even be able to join a group of people who practice yoga on the beach. Even in your hometowns you may even find that yoga classes are moving outdoors for the summer days.
Surfing is another hobby that can not go unmentioned when we are talking about beach exercises. Surfing allows us to release our stresses, as well as being a lot of fun, and keeping us fit. Win-win!
Surfing is a physical activity which is sure to keep our muscles working during the summer. Whether you are a professional or not, surfing (or trying to) uses muscles of the arms and legs, as well as the abdomen, which are all used in conjunction to maintain balance on the board. Achieving this balance and improving these muscles also encourages a healthy posture – another of the many benefits of surfing.
Not only this, but as you build your muscle strength from this high intensity exercise, you also increase your metabolic rate. This means that once the surfing session is over, you continue to burn calories throughout the day – even while resting.
5. Strength training with your own body weight
Calisthenics is the disciple of using your own body weight for resistance, by using your body and the environment to push, pull, jump and swing. Many weightlifters use this exercise technique frequently when they want some variety in their routine, but need to keep training intensively to continue to improve levels of strength.
Today, calisthenics is a discipline that has gained popularity around the world because it is very fun to do, especially outdoors. Another benefit is that although improves strength, it does not put too much stress on the nervous system. This is why many athletes tend to combine calisthenics routines with their weight lifting.
Many people prefer to practice this freestyle, as this is generally considered to be more fun than following a planned routine.
Thanks to its popularity, it is common to find parks with bars installed on the beach or nearby, so anyone can use them to help them train.
As you can see, just because we want to enjoy the summer, it doesn’t mean we have to neglect our health. We know that gym breaks occasionally can bring us great benefits, however, doing this for a long time and not resorting to alternatives that keep our metabolism and muscles active will eventually lead to negative problems both physically and physiologically for the body.