Between the sand, the sun, and the surf, exercising on the beach can get tricky. We asked fitness expert Andrea Shelby, owner of MV Fitness and Federal Hill Fitness, for exercises to help you tone while you tan. One caveat, says Shelby (who fittingly phoned in from Rehoboth Beach): “When working out at the beach, you don’t want to look ridiculous. Don’t run in a two-piece bathing suit, for instance——you don’t want it to be a spectacle.”
Running: “Do it in the early morning or at dusk so you have an open expanse of beach and avoid the hottest time of day,” advises Shelby. “Stay on the part of the sand that’s almost at the waterline. You risk injuries when you run in dry sand. Concentrate on running on your toes, shortening your stride, and landing with your feet under your body to reduce the risk of injury and control your pace. Also, remember to look
at your environment and find a landmark
so you can find your way back.”
Treading Water: “You don’t need to be out farther than the break line,” says Shelby, “and you want to make sure that the lifeguards are out in case you ever need help. For more upper body, keep your legs steady and the water line barely above your shoulders. Right at the surface level, push your arms back and forth as you would in a breaststroke. For a lower-body workout, keep your hands cupped or flat and move your legs apart, moving side to side to keep you afloat. You can also do a variation of this by holding on to a beach ball. Do three minutes of one type of treading and three minutes of the other, up to three times. Make sure you have enough energy in case you get into a
situation where you need to swim back.”
Shoveling: “Shoveling with your kids’ sand shovels is great for any age,” says Shelby. “A lot of gyms are focusing on functional exercise, and here’s an exercise you can do in real life. Keep a loose grip on the shovel and lunge with a perfect 90-degree bend in your front leg. Also, hinge at the hips, keep your back straight, and your core tight. Dig [the shovel] shallow to make it easier; dig deeper to make it harder. And be sure to fill the hole back in—you don’t want anyone to fall in.”
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