Weekend Physical Activity Boost: Exercising at the Beach

June 22, 2012

By Lizzy Parker, HSC communications intern

Lizzy Parker is a rising junior at Colorado College with a passion for health and fitness. In January of 2012, she became a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. As an intern at HSC this summer, she looks forward to sharing her enthusiasm for and knowledge about physical activity—and, that it can be fun!

PA_BeachHeading to the beach this weekend? Take advantage of the terrain to incorporate some physical activity into your rest time.

The sand is the perfect surface for exercise because you must engage important stabilizer muscles to maintain balance. As a result, your muscles will work harder, and you will continue to feel the burn for hours post-exercise (don’t worry, that’s a good thing!).

To not feel too regimented—it’s the weekend after all— break up your exercise bouts into 5-10 minute increments. Make it a goal to put down your book and get up from your towel or beach chair every 30 minutes. Take a short walk or run, experimenting with various speeds and wetness of sand. If you are having some difficulty, stick to the sand closest to the water; it will be firm, and therefore easier for you to balance.  Need more of a challenge? Tread only the dry stuff. 

If jogging becomes repetitive, change it up. Invite friends and family to join and try:

  • Jumping jacks: A full body work out that will engage important muscles in your legs, arms, and core. 
  • Skipping: Great for getting that heart rate up, fast! Throw your arms up, gain momentum, and drive your knee towards the sky. Just be mindful of your landing in order to protect your knees. 
  • Walking lunges: Aim for a 90-degree angle at each knee. Do not allow the front knee to go past your toes. 

It may be too hot to exercise on land. If that’s the case, take to the water! Swim, jump waves, or just float on your back. See who can reach the sand bar first. The possibilities are endless.

A day at the beach can be more than getting ahead in your book and enjoying the sun. Be creative and join your kids for some heart healthy activity!

Remember: The recommendations on this blog are not meant to be a substitute for recommendations from your physician. Take care to consult with your physician if you have questions or concerns about beginning a new exercise regimen. As always, if something hurts, don’t do it. Know your body’s limits and refrain from pushing yourself too far, too fast.