I’m stuck in the middle of winter and of course the minute hubby says we should go on a holiday, I’m on google researching, Bali, Thailand, New Caledonia… if it has a beach with resorts I AM THERE!
I love a good beach vacation. It is one of the best ways to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And well let’s face it – Aussies just LOVE the beach.
There can be one draw-back however. If exercising is one of the important activities in your daily schedule, the only downside to spending a few quiet days in a remote beach town is the distance it puts between you and the gym or fitness training sessions.
Now I always try to book somewhere with a gym and most are pretty good these days. However I do have a penchant for holidaying in third world countries, the food, the culture – really different from what we get back in Sydney – not to mention it’s pretty affordable! Some of the resorts in these places do lack state of the art training facilities and those that offer gym services as an extra surcharge that will only increase your travel expenditure. (PS if you are interested in my travel adventures and tips for travelling on a budget check out my other blog – The Amateur Adventurer.)
This has sometimes meant a little improvising on holidays. The truth is who really needs access to a fully stocked weight room, treadmill or other gym equipment? If you are staying near the beach it’s a great place to get some sun and fitness in at the same time – and you can cool off after with a refereshing dip in the ocean!
Here are 5 beach exercises you can do on vacation to avoid breaking your fitness regimen.
Start with a Warm Up
Every workout must always begin with a warm up session. This prepares the body for action and prevents injury. There are different ways to warm up depending on the goal of your workout. Classic warm up moves include lunges, toe touches, cross arm stretches, jumping jacks and high knees. A good warm up should help the joints to loosen up, get your heart pumping and stretch the muscles.
Compound movements like the squat are very beneficial because they engage more than one muscle group. A simple standard squat will work the muscles that make up your calves as well as the hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps. All you need to do is get in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart then squat down and finally stand upright again to complete one repetition. Aim for at least five sets of 15-20 reps and take 20 second breaks in between segments.
Burpees offer a perfect transition from squats. They will work your arms, chest abs, and the same muscles that squats do, thus offering a full body workout.
You will begin this routine in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. Next, squat down and get into a push-up position by placing your hands on the floor and kicking the feet back. Perform one pushup then kick the feet back to the squatting position. Finally, stand up and jump into the air while clapping your arms overhead. Repeat this compound movement several times. Start with at least 5 burpees in a row and work your way up to 15 reps in future sets.
#3: Push Ups
Pushups are another fantastic body weight exercise you can do right on the beach without the need for any special equipment. Place a towel on the ground to keep the sand off your hands. For a good workout, attempt to complete 5 sets of 10 push up each with 30 seconds of rest in between sets.
#4: Crunches/Sit Ups
You will definitely get sand in your hair and on the back when doing crunches or sit-ups at the beach. On the plus side, these workouts will keep you from packing on unwanted belly fat while indulging in all kinds of exotic seafood during your beach vacation.
The kinds of exercises you can perform on a beach are not just limited to body-weight routines for strength training. If you want to stay aerobically fit, why not do several 30-40meter sprints along the shore?
There you have it: five simple beach exercises you can do on a vacation without the need for any equipment. If the workouts mentioned above are part of your everyday fitness routine, consider breaking away from the norm by trying your hand in any available beach sport. From beach soccer and volleyball, to scuba diving, surfing, kite boarding and water skiing, there are a ton of adventurous beach sports that can keep you physically active throughout the vacation.