Beach or Gym: Why Choose?

Posted 08/12/2014 | By HealthCorps

There’s no better time than the summer to get yourself outside and moving. Swap your indoor gym or home workout environment for the beach. Enjoy the warmth of the sun while simultaneously feeling the heat of your body burn calories and let the crash of the waves be your new go-to soundtrack.  

Burn Fat and Tone your Muscles 

Hard flooring or treadmill belts aren’t the only surfaces to train on. In fact, fitness experts suggest performing a series of exercises in the sand to add an element of resistance to your workout. The added resistance engages your feet, ankle, hamstring and calf muscles, increasing the difficulty and number of calories burned with every movement. This will help blast away unwanted fat. The sand’s uneven surface also works the stabilizing muscles of your core for an even more effective workout. Though it provides a challenge, the sand is a softer and more forgiving surface compared to a paved street. This may help prevent muscle damage and fatigue. So, go ahead and get started on high intensity sprints, interval training, walking lunges and a variety of plyometric moves with breathtaking views of the ocean.  

Take Caution  

If you aren’t a frequent beach goer, remember that the sand is a surface you probably aren’t super accustomed to working out on. Be sure to activate your muscles and warm up properly to reduce the chance of injury. Wear sneakers while you run to help with proper footing and form (and to protect your feet from broken shells!). With the cool ocean breeze, it’s easy to forget the toll the UV radiation and high temperatures can take on your body. Remember to hydrate adequately, apply sunblock, and wear protective garments. To avoid the seemingly unbearable scorch of the sun in the middle of the day, try working out in the morning or in the evening before sunset.  

 Working out on the beach is no easy feat. The added challenge, however, can help you burn more calories and improve your muscle strength and stability. And what’s better than being outside, soaking in the sun’s rays and enjoying bright blue skies? Don’t forget, the most rewarding part may be having access to plunge into the refreshing ocean waves after a sweaty workout.  

 

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