How to get fit on the beach!


If you want a sunkissed look this summer, there are plenty of beach activities to keep you occupied, so you can leave the beach looking bronzed and slimline at the same time!

The good news is running around the beach doesn't have to involve too much effort. Sports dietician Ann Price says you can lose two pounds a week with small amounts of daily exercise.

To help keep you active and happy on the beach, presents the best beach activities - and gives you an idea of how many calories each burns.

  • Beach volleyball

    It's fun, sociable but above all a round of volleyball on the beach provides an excellent all-round workout.

    Apart from offering a welcome break from endless hours of sunbathing, personal trainer Tristan Huckle says volleyball promotes greater flexibility, coordination and helps tone the whole body.

    'In volleyball you are constantly bending your legs to prepare to leap forwards which stretches the major muscles in your lower body.'

    A serving action also strengthens the backs of the arm and pushing the ball to your opponent works the front.'

    As an added bonus, volleyball works the toes and feet because you're likely to be playing barefoot which means you are constantly gripping the sand.

    Volleyball is an ideal exercise to play on holiday because it encourages the body to burn up fat without you even noticing it! In fact you can burn up to 250 calories in just half an hour.

    But Tristan warns about the importance of cooling down after playing volleyball. In particular, bend your fingers, rotate your wrists and stretch your legs to stop your muscles from seizing up, he says.

  • Jogging on the beach

    Jogging on sand makes you work harder because all your lower leg and ankle muscles are helping to keep you balanced.

    Beach jogging means you're working against your own body's resistance - as opposed to relying on a machine in a gym to do half the work. Also, running with a partner tends to make you work harder because it provides a competitive edge which you don't get in a gym.

    Running is a great cardiovascular exercise as it involves elevating your heart rate. This increases blood circulation, bringing more nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and helping to remove waste from our body more quickly.

    Improving your cardiovascular system means our muscles are able to draw in more oxygen and blood which produces more capillaries and allows the muscles to expand, thus burning up calories even more quickly.

  • Surfing

    If you're planning to overdose on the strawberries and cream this summer, surfing is an ideal way to compensate because it strengthens your abdominal muscles.

    The balancing movements required to hold you in place on the board employs most of your stomach muscles, says Tristan Huckle. This, in turn, can lead to a flatter stomach - so it's well worth taking the plunge.

    'Learning to balance on a board means you are employing 'core stability' - where you engage your deep postural muscles - the muscles that wrap around your pelvis like a natural girdle.'

    This action can help strengthen the muscles that give you the definition of a waist.

    And, even if you spend most of your time off the board, paddling out to sea is an excellent way to strengthen your upper and lower body, says Tristan. 'As you paddle you tend to lift up your chest which lengthens your back, chest and shoulder muscles'

    Keeping yourself going through the water will also give your calves and thighs a good workout.

    Expert surfers can burn up to 1000 calories per hour, but recreational surfers probably burn around 500 calories an hour.

  • Swimming in the sea

    Swimming is a low resistance exercise but half an hour's worth can burn up to 240 calories!

    If you're after a thorough work out, front crawl or breaststroke is best for working your cardiovascular system - where your heart rate is raised and your blood circulation is boosted.

    Pushing through the water targets your thighs, legs, chest, shoulders and arms.

    Breaststroke is particularly good for working the chest muscles (some women swear it increases breast size), works the inner thigh, tones the bra-strap area, shoulders, triceps, legs and hamstrings.

    While backstroke tones the stomach, buttocks, legs, arms and shoulders - and helps to elongate the hip flexors (a great antidote to sitting at a desk all day).

    And because your body is supported in the water, you are unlikely to strain any muscles, but swimming is a great way to stretch your body and keep it supple. In fact, floating in the water is an ideal way to release the spine because there is no impact on the skeleton.

  • Beach frisbee

    Playing frisbee is a common beach pastime, but according to Helen Maddin of Cannons gym club, this simple game is a good aerobic exericse, - especially if your opponents can't toss a frisbee in the right direction!

    And believe it or not a game of frisbee for around 20 minutes can burn up to 150 calories

    And as an added benefit it works your arms, legs and stomach muscles - great if you plan to show off your midriff.

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