Ahhh…summertime.  It’s time to head to the beach (or the shore as they call it up here in the Northeast) and have some fun in the sun!  When I ask people what they love to do at the beach, unfortunately, the number one answer is “read a book or a magazine”.  Reading is great, but how about adding some exercise into your beach vacation this year?  All you need is your swimsuit, some running shoes, and lots of sunscreen. 

Try it—You’ll Like it

Going for long walks on the beach is great exercise.  It’s relaxing and it allows you to really appreciate the beauty around you.  But, if you want to get into really good shape while you’re “beaching it” this year, try the following workout.  It’s my favorite and I do it whenever I go to the beach.

  • Warm up.  Okay, it’s already warm outside but you still need to warm up your muscles.  Walk briskly down the beach for about 5 minutes.  Stop and slowly do pain-free range-of-motion exercises to get your body loose and ready to move.  Don’t leave any body parts out!
  • Run!   Ease into it but make yourself run faster than you would if you were going out for jog.  Run until you finished counting to 100 in your head.  You can count as fast as you want (to get it over quicker) or you can count slowly—which is a better workout.  (If you can’t run, walk as fast as you can).
  • Walk.  This is your time to recover.  When you feel like your heart rate is coming back down to normal, then it’s time to move again.
  • Run!  Just like before but this time will be easier.  You’ll notice your body loosening up start to feel good.
  • Walk.  It will probably take a little longer to recover this time—that’s okay.  Listen to your body!  The more you do this, the less recovery time you’ll need.
  • Push-ups.  You heard me.  The sand won’t kill you so get down in position and do as many as you can.  If you’re new to this, do a modified push-up with your knees in the sand. 
  • Squats.  Stand facing the beautiful ocean, knees shoulder width apart, and perform 10-20 squats.  You’ll thank me for this later. 
  • Walk.  It’s time to recover again.
  • Run!   This will feel like the best one yet.  Focus on your form and staying light on your feet.
  • Walk. 
  • Push-ups.  Try to do 5 more than the first time.
  • Lunges.  These are so good for you but don’t do too many the first day—they can make you really sore!  Try to do 8-12 if you can.  
  • Walk.  Walking right about now feels really good. 

If you’re super ambitious, you can keep it going for as long as you like.  However, with an intense workout like this, the good news is that you can do it all in about 20 minutes!  And it will rev up your metabolism, sculpt your muscles and improve your cardiovascular health all at the same time. 
Save the Best for Last!

I purposely left out exercising in the ocean since many of you happened to see Jaws back in the 70’s.   It didn’t scare me but I refused to get in a bath tub for about a year after I saw it!  

Seriously, the best part of this workout is being able to take your shoes and socks off and go running into the water.  Go for a nice swim and let the healing salt water do its job. 

You’ll feel GREAT after this energizing workout!  And you should be proud of yourself for choosing YOUR HEALTH over People Magazine! 

Stay well!  Molly

Originally published in GO, GlobalFit’s online healthy living newsletter.”  http://www.globalfit.com/gonewsletter/default.asp