One of the reasons I like living in a warmer climate is the ability to workout outside for much of the year. Summers in Phoenix can be stifling however, just like many other parts of the country. For many of us a summertime pastime is heading to the various shores along our coasts. Here the surf and the sand can be your gym and can help you tone up while lifting your spirits up at the same time.
In fact a study conducted earlier this year at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry found that there are both mental and physical benefits to outdoor exercise.
While the study merely looked at the benefits and not at whether or not the participants adopted outdoor exercise as a lifestyle change, its findings were still positive. “The study found that most trials showed an improvement in mental well-being: compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression.”
According to DiscoverWalking.com the physical benefits are abundant when walking along the surf. The site says that heading to a beach to walk can boost your calorie burn. “One the primary benefits of walking on a beach is that you will use 20 to 50 percent more calories than you would walking at the same pace on a hard surface.”
Besides walking here is a Beach Workout from my Fitness Answer plan that can be done when you hit the shore this Summer:
Dig a small hole for each heel hip distance apart, so your foot is in a decline position forcing your weight back on your heels. Slowly bend down into a squat then return to the starting position and repeat. Do 2-3 sets of 15 with 30 second rests in between sets.
Long Beach Lunges
Make two lines in the sand about 20 feet apart. Start with your feet together and step your right foot forward approximately two feet. Your left heel should be lifted for leverage here as well.2 Lower down until your right thigh is parallel to the sand, without letting knee come past the toes. Make sure not to lean forward and stand as upright as possible. Now step forward on the left side and continue to alternate until you reach the other marker. Turn around and go back to the initial marker, repeating cycle 2 more times.
Walk the Plank Pushups
Stand up straight and slowly roll down for four full breaths (inhale and exhale 4x). When your hands reach the sand walk yourself hands out for another four breaths until you are in a plank position, wrists underneath shoulders. Lower yourself down, bending elbows for 3 pushups. (If you need to come to your knees here that is fine for pushup portion.) Walk your hands back towards your feet for another four breaths and roll-up for another four breaths to starting position. Repeat 6-8 times.
Reviewed August 5, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Jody Smith
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training. Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.