Have a Fun and Fit Beach Vacation!
While the beach is a great place to relax, swim and enjoy a cocktail, it can also be good for a challenging, fast-paced, calorie-burning workout. Exercising on the sand is invigorating not only due to the uneven surface; it is also a fresh and fun alternative to your everyday routine.
Shoes are optional for this workout, but you will need a water bottle (to keep yourself hydrated), a towel, a stop watch, some discipline, and you’re ready to go. This workout is best done early in the morning when there is less of a crowd (and less of an audience) and the temperature is cooler. Anytime between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. is best. If the following circuit is too intense, then modify the time, sets and repetitions according to your fitness level.
After a 5-minute brisk walk on the beach for warmup (remember, this is not the time to stop and collect shells), do the following circuit for three sets. Keep your rest time between each activity to no more than 15 seconds. You may work out in your bathing suit!
Twenty walking lunges: When lunging, step forward with the right leg, bending both legs simultaneously so that all leg angles are roughly 90 degrees (knee should be directly above foot of leg stepping forward). Now bring your left leg forward to meet your right leg to a standing position. Repeat with the left leg traveling forward until you achieve a count of twenty for each leg.
One-minute jump squats: Set your stopwatch and begin. With feet shoulder width apart, squat low until you touch the sand, then quickly propel up and jump as if you are throwing a basketball. Do as many of these as you can for a total of one minute. (Your heart should be beating madly by now.)
Thirty-second jog with sprint back: Set your watch and jog along the beach for 30 seconds, then turn back and sprint back for another 30 seconds.
Thirty pushups: Everyone knows how to do these, right? Wrong! Make sure you keep your body flat, with palms firmly planted on the sand, shoulder width apart (butt should not be jutting up). You may use your towel to place your hands on. Then lower your body by bending at the elbows until your chest is a few inches off the ground. Lift up and repeat. You may also do these with knees on the ground, keeping your back and butt flat.
Twenty mountain climbers: Place your hands on the sand and extend your body out with one leg closer to your arms and the other leg extended out (almost in a position of a runner about to start the race). Hips are up higher, not close to the sand. With palms flat on the sand and upper body in position, extend the front leg back simultaneously, bringing the back leg forward. Hips are pushed up as legs are being alternated with a slight jump. Do this movement for a count of 20 repetitions.
Fifteen leg lifts: Lie down with your back on the sand and hands placed behind your back. Holding abdominals in tight and with shoulders slightly off the ground, slowly raise both legs up until they are perpendicular to the ground, and then lower until they are just a few inches off the ground and start back over. Do these for a total of 15 repetitions.
Thirty jumping jacks: I’m sure you know how to do these.
After completion of the entire circuit, cool down by walking around for a few minutes (now is a good time to collect shells). If you worked out in your bathing suit, this would be a great time to go for a swim in the ocean before you go back and attack the ‘all-you-can-eat’ breakfast buffet!
[Aarti Patel serves as the columnist for Fitness Lifestyle. She has a B.Sc. in Health Information Administration and is certified by the American Council on Exercise as a Personal and Group Fitness Instructor, and Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach. She can be reached at (404) 376-5655; email@example.com.
This column rotates monthly along with the Ask the Doctor column by Gulshan Harjee, M.D.]
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