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It’s summer and you’ve been dreaming about that beach body for years without it becoming reality. You look at old photos of yourself and wonder, what happened?
Why have I put on weight and why is it so hard to lose it? You want to lose weight but the word “workout” doesn’t sound fun.
For most of us, we get older and become busier with work and family. Many of us don’t have time to visit the gym and work up a sweat.
Although most of us won’t ever have the body of a beach lifeguard, we can get in healthy shape and feel good while doing it.
The Word “Workout” Shouldn’t Have A Negative Connotation
The hardest part about working out is getting over the term “workout”. For some strange reason we’ve made being healthy a chore. Why is that?
Just a few decades ago, we were much more healthy. Why? In those days we weren’t in the gym working, but we were outside more often, walking, exploring, and moving.
Yes, I know diet has a lot to do with losing weight, but the first step might be staying active. Growing up, I remember my family taking an evening walk around the block.
We simply walked the dog. I don’t remember it ever being a “workout” but I know it was healthy and was quality time with family. It was a healthy routine.
As someone who grew up at the beach I believe it’s the best place to get healthy. More-so than the actual activity like running on the beach, being at the beach is good for the lungs, puts us around like-minded people, and brings out smiles (I’ve never seen unhappy people at the beach!).
I also understand there’s the option of beach bbqs, beers, and margaritas – so avoid these if you want to lose weight at the beach.
Related: Beach Gear You Need
There’s A Theme In This Article
Get outside and be active. The hardest part about a losing weight is getting off the couch and feeling motivated to run or lift weights.
Most people get excited about going to the beach. Make your mind think about something other than a workout – certainly don’t call it a workout, just plan an activity at the beach.
After developing a routine of going to the beach you’ll realize so many other people are doing the same thing. Other people are a distraction and will take your mind off your activity.
Rather than force yourself to run, just move around. Here are few simple ideas to stay active at the beach:
- Commit to staying at the beach for a few hours. If you stay at the beach, it doesn’t mean you must go in the water. At a minimum you’ll end up walking around. If you’re with a friend you can look for interesting things on the beach like a message in a bottle.
- Enjoy the fresh air of the ocean and people-watch. Sure you can do this sitting down, but get up and walk around while doing so.
- Explore, and make a point to discover something new. It could be seashells, seaweed, driftwood (take it home, make crafts and sell on Etsy).
- Observe the architecture of beach houses. Some beach homes look great, others look terrible, and some are old fashioned bungalows that haven’t been updated in decades.
- Watch lifeguards train. Yep, I’ve done this. If you’re trying to lose weight this might make you feel worse because they work hard. If you get to the beach early in the morning you can see them. They don’t wake up looking like that – be inspired!
- Try to figure out the tide and which way it’s moving – it’s not easy.
Related: Best Exercise Gear for a Beach Workout
7 fun ways to lose weight at the beach – without a workout!
No. 1 Walk Your Dog
This is an age old favorite and a favorite for dogs. If getting off the couch is challenging look at your dog and know how happy it would make him/her.
If you live close enough to the beach, start going a few times a week. Hopefully the beach is long so you can walk a few miles down the beach. If walking a few miles is tough, you’ll have your dog to help by pulling you. You’ll also have plenty of others walking their dogs as well.
When we see other people doing the same thing as us, it’s reassuring. It’s even better if you take a ball or Frisbee to throw for your dog. Throwing a ball is a great workout for your arms and shoulders. We really like the Chuckit toy for dogs at the beach.
No. 2 Go For a Swim
This one might not go over well if you’re having trouble staying motivated. Don’t think of it as a swim, rather take a dip in the water a try to catch a few waves. The great thing about ocean water is it’s rarely static and makes your body work.
It takes effort to stand against the waves and current. It helps with balance because the changing depth of sand.
If you like snorkeling or bodysurfing, do those activities for 15 minutes. Sure it will be fun, but the key is that you’re moving. Take a dip in the ocean a few times a week and yes it will help you get into shape.
No. 3 Bike or Rollerblade Along the Boardwalk
Larger beaches have a boardwalk to walk, bike, and skate. If you have a boardwalk available you have no excuse – use it. A bike ride doesn’t have to be an intense workout, nor does skating or walking.
In the summers, boardwalks are full of people. You can easily walk for miles, passing other people doing the same. A bike ride with friends is enjoyable and easy. Rarely are there hills on beaches.
In San Diego, there’s a Mission Beach legend named Slomo. He earned his name by his slow rollerblading movements/poses as he skates up and down the boardwalk. What he does is almost yoga-like.
It’s not necessarily a workout by most standards. It seems more therapeutic and a little like meditation. He does this everyday and is well-known. I’m sure he’s not hitting the gym everyday – this daily routine keeps him fit inside and out.
No. 4 Play A Game Of Beach Volleyball
Beach volleyball is 1) fun, and 2) is an amazing workout. I’ll admit, beach volleyball is not easy.
It’s probably the most difficult activity on this list. Your legs will be exhausted after trying it. Many State beaches have public courts and organize recreational leagues and teams.
There are also some “meet up” groups that organize beach volleyball activities.
Beach volleyball matches are 2 versus 2 with most other rules the same as indoor volleyball. 2 versus 2 can be tough, so add more people to your game. Make it a social event so there’s chatting and laughing in between points. It doesn’t have to be competitive.
If you’re thinking of excuses like the “sand is too hot” they won’t work. There are beach volleyball socks available to keep your feet cool.
Wear a visor and shades to protect your face and a shirt if you don’t want to become sunburned. After the match, get some additional exercise by cooling off in the ocean.
Related: Best Beach Games for Kids and Adults
No. 5 Learn To Play Spike Ball
Here’s an easier game that takes up a small amount of area on the beach. Many people aren’t familiar with the name, but if you frequent the beach in the summer you’ve likely seen people playing Spike Ball.
It resembles a small yellow trampoline with a ball. 4 players (2 on 2) stand around it and take turns bouncing the ball off the playing area.
It’s simple to learn, fast-paced, and fun to play. There are events and tournaments all over the U.S. and it’s a fast growing beach game. By playing the Spike Ball game you won’t have to run around much, but you will work up a sweat. Learn more about Spike Ball
No. 6 Fly a Stunt Kite
This activity might seem strange but flying a kite can provide some good exercise. You must get the kite in the air so you’ll need to run or move your hands.
Old fashioned single line kites won’t be much exercise however dual line stunt and parafoil kites are an awesome beach activity that is fun, fairly easy, and makes your arms work.
I like dual line parafoil kites because they are frameless and you don’t have to worry about crash damage. You also get to fly the same kites that kite surfers use. Flying a dual line parafoil kite requires you to push, pull, and slightly adjust your hands and arms.
Related: Best Stunt Kites For The Beach
You’re legs will be involved as you adjust your stance and if it’s really windy the kite will pull you quite a bit – this will be the best part of the exercise as you try not to be dragged across the beach.
No. 7 Build A Sandcastle Or Fort With Your Kids
If you have kids and want to have fun while getting some exercise, schedule a trip to the beach to build a sandcastle. Better yet, build a fort and don’t forget the shovel.
Moving around sand isn’t easy and while you won’t notice the effectiveness of the workout while you’re having fun with your children, you might be sore the following day.
Sand is heavy and so is water. Building sandcastles and forts will require displacing buckets of sand and water, possibly collecting driftwood, and bending over repetitively. Spend an hour making sandcastles and/or a fort, and you’ll get great exercise.
For some reason, we think of a workout as going to the gym or hopping on a treadmill. Getting exercise didn’t use to be this way, rather it was something we did with our daily lives.
The fact is, just getting to the beach will require some physical activity. We park we walk to the beach and carry our beach gear. That in itself is a good start. If we haven’t worked out or exercised in a long time, finding the motivation to be active can be a real challenge.
This article aims to provide ideas that are easy and enjoyable, and will help you get outside and moving. These ideas won’t provide an amazing workout and totally get rid of excess weight, however they will help get you on track.
If you do adopt some of these activities on a regular basis, you might really lose weight while having fun.
Most people are overweight because of a sedentary lifestyle, move around – it’s proven to speed up your metabolism. Get outside and get to the beach. You, your family, and your dog will appreciate it. Thank for reading!