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Work Out at the Beach

Timeless Fitness Tip

Hitting the sand on the beach is a great way to boost your work out and tone and shape your legs!

Enjoy a nice cool work out at the beach

If you've ever used fitness videos, perhaps you've noticed that many exercise and aerobic instructors video tape their workouts on a beach. This is because not only is it a healthy place to exercise physically, but the surrroundings are good for emotional health, as well. The fresh air, the sunshine (from which you obtain vitamin D!) and being around other people are all motivating and healthful factors for both body and mind.

A beach is an ideal fitness-walking environment of water, sand and waves. Incorporating these exercises in the summer months will give you a little tougher workout and quicker results from your added efforts.

When you walk on sand your muscles have to work harder. If you take off your shoes and walk on the sand barefoot you really target the tiny muscles in your feet. A big plus is that the sand absorbs more shock than an asphalt road, making walking easier on the joints.

For your butt, tackle some sand dunes, for your thighs, walk through calf-to-waist deep water. A 150-pound person can burn 275 calories per hour walking on sand. The softer the sand, the greater the work out. Walking on the sand or beach walking as this is commonly referred to, can be strenuous so here are a few precautionary measures:

  • Go slower and for shorter distances. Start with one to two miles if you normally walk three and increase slowly. If you are on soft sand and/or going barefoot, cut back even further.
  • Walk out and back. Going in only one direction on a slanted shoreline can set you up for ankle tendinitis or other injuries.
  • Watch out for hot sand that can blister your soles. Also, remember to apply sunblock to the tops of your feet.
  • Wear "aqua socks" with a sole and shuffle when you walk in water to scare away sea critters and to avoid stepping on anything sharp.
  • Check tide tables before starting out so you don't get caught in high tide on your way back.
  • Stretch afterward, paying close attention to your calves and hip flexors. If you have back problems or weak ankles be cautious. Loose sand is unstable and places slightly different stresses on your body. Start your beach-walking program in sneakers on firm sand close to the water edge.

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