By Nik Toth
Sandy beaches provide the ultimate escape from our busy lives, and they can also serve as your very own personal gym with the most amazing views.
Allow the warm golden sands, rhythmic ocean waves and fresh air to provide you with a challenging workout – no equipment needed. Training outdoors gives you the perfect opportunity to breathe in fresh air, soak up some vitamin D and reconnect with nature as you rinse off in the ocean after working up a sweat.
Read on to discover the extra perks of doing beach workouts:
Due to increased resistance from running and training on the sand, your muscles have to work harder than usual. Compared to running on a treadmill or a stable surface, moving on sand requires engagement from more muscles, particularly your core, in order to stabilise your body on the sand.
Running barefoot on the sand activates even more muscles, as the arches of your feet, calves, and quads become fully engaged to coordinate the body’s movement.
That means running for 20 minutes on the beach is a lot more effective than running for 20 minutes on a treadmill, allowing you to achieve your fitness results more efficiently.
As your muscles work harder while performing workouts on the sand, your body naturally exerts more energy. The result?
An increased calorie burn that can contribute to weight loss faster. In fact, you may lose up to 1.6 times more calories if you run on a beach versus a hard surface.
You may also experience an increased resting metabolic rate for a few hours after a beach workout as your muscles will require more energy after a challenging workout to recover.
Training for a marathon? Or perhaps you just want to develop a better technique? The sand provides an excellent training platform to improve your running technique. As you run on sand, your body naturally pushes off following each stride, allowing you to develop a smoother and more stable midfoot stride and push-off.
Training regularly on the beach will efficiently improve your running technique over time, as you are challenging your body to adjust to a different stimulus. In fact, many professional runners practice on the beach before competing to improve their strength, technique and agility.
Why train for hours when you can achieve the same results in just 30 minutes with HIIT training on the sand? As you can train quickly and efficiently on the beach, you can slash your workout time in half, and spend more free time doing other things you love. Aim for three or four 30 to 40-minute body weight resistance sessions per week to get results.
Pick at least four exercises, for example: jump squats, plyometric lunges, push-ups and tricep dips. Do 15 reps of each non-stop for three to four rounds. Throw in a few 30-second sprints in between rounds and you’ve got yourself a highly effective fat blasting HIIT workout.
Training on flat hard surfaces all the time can be rough on your knee and hip joints. Mix up your training routine by incorporating different surfaces such as sand, track, and grass. That way, your joints are not consistently exposed to the same level of impact or shock, reducing the stress on your knees and hips long-term.
So there you have it! Remember to start slow, and get yourself used to working out on the beach with a simple training plan to begin with. Mix it up, have fun, and most importantly, enjoy the breathtaking landscape.
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