Exercise may be the best medicine, but the beach is the best gym
Brendan Rolfe, DipA, PTS, NWS
What better way to spend a warm summer’s day than at the beach? Sand, sun, and surf melt away stress and create the ultimate in environmental relaxation. They can also add elements that make for a fun and challenging workout!
If you’re like me, you look for any reason to go to the beach. If you don’t already have one, here are three: 1. You need to do a workout. 2. It’s a beautiful day. 3. It’s free. And if that’s not enough, sweating in the sand also gives you more return on investment!
Let’s pretend for a second that you’re unaware of stunning coastlines, clean air, and natural environmental beauty, and that you don’t mind breathing in the recycled air, hearing the ridiculously obnoxious noises, and fighting for the small spaces that gyms have to offer.
Sand training offers less muscle and joint soreness, greater capacity for cardiovascular fitness, enhanced agility and power potential, and improved weight-loss potential. In short, it offers you better results for time spent. Period. And in the end, isn’t that what it’s about?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m all about the journey and appreciating the struggles that lead to success, but there’s nothing wrong with getting to your destination a little sooner. Let your first destination be the beach.
Complete a five-minute warm-up before starting this workout. For the workout, perform four rounds with as little rest as possible in between, and be sure to cool down and stretch soon after. And if you’re a beach volleyball player like me, check out the variations in the “Beach Volleyball Workout Tips” sidebar.
I don’t know about you, but on a warm summer day I sweat early, often, and always. In fact, if I’m not sweating, that’s cause for concern. Our bodies can produce 1 to 2 L of sweat per hour during summer exercise. The composition of this sweat includes amino acids, electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, and, you guessed it, water. Because the human body prefers homeostasis (a state of balance in which the body usually operates), we need to replace the materials we’ve sweated out.
If you’re aiming for a short workout (around an hour), water is enough, but if you plan to sweat on the beach for two hours or more—or even a full day (you’ve committed yourself to a beach volleyball tournament, for example)—you’ll need to replenish some of the other particulates you’ve lost.
This can come from liquids such as amino acids, ketogenic beverages, sports drinks, and coconut water, or it can come in the form of hydrating foods, including various melons, berries, and grapes. The added benefit of supplementing your hydration practices with hydrating foods is that foods come with naturally balanced vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients such as polysaccharides to give you an energy boost.
If you have any questions about hydration aids that can help boost energy too, talk to a nutrition and supplements expert and visit your local nutrition store.
After you have completed the 100 ft (30 m) Komodo Dragon Crawl, turn over and sit on the ground so that your back points in the direction you just came from.
Keeping your toes and fingers facing forward, lift your hips as high as you can off the ground, toward the sky, and walk on all fours, backward, 100 ft (30 m) to your starting line.
I’ve always maintained that the best way to keep fit is to play a sport. It just so happens that my favourite sport is beach volleyball. It’s a great way to have fun, be social, and stay fit. The sun, heat, sand, and wind can also make it pretty challenging!
Whenever we think about training for a sport, we want to consider what sport-specific movements are involved. For instance, in beach volleyball, there’s a lot of jumping, there’s diving and getting up out of the sand, and there’s a lot of lunging. There’s also a component that requires quick reflexes and powerful movements.
Because I’m a forward thinker, the Beach Body Circuit Workout I’ve designed for you can easily be manipulated to become more sport-specific to beach volleyball.
Make this a squat that turns into a jump, keeping foot-to-sand contact time as minimal as possible.
Do this motion on the spot (no forward motion), each time jumping your whole body in the air to change arm and leg positions.
Do a lunge and then immediately jump and land, lunging with the other foot forward, again limiting contact time with the sand.
Beach volleyball is all about jumping power and quickness, and these exercises are sure to give you a boost!