Whether it’s ocean swimming, beach volleyball or running on the sand, weekends are the perfect time to ditch the treadmill and enjoy some outdoor exercise.
RUNNING ON SAND
"Running on sand is an excellent way to challenge yourself as it burns more kilojoules and tones more muscles than traditional road and track running," says personal trainer Adam Ringshall. "Your legs have to work harder to help balance you and keep you moving on the uneven moving surface of the sand."
Fitness factor: It strengthens your ankles, foot arches and lower legs, and has less of an impact on joints than hard-surface running.
Smile factor: Build up slowly (so calf strain or tendon injuries don't occur), take it steady and soak up the beautiful scenery.
This low impact, therapeutic exercise uses the whole body, making it a more balanced muscular workout and perfect if you've got any niggling injuries. "Ocean swimming is a convenient way to stay in shape and burn a few extra kilojoules while at the beach. It's a fantastic exercise as it uses so many major muscles in the body without putting a lot of stress on your joints," says Ringshall.
Fitness factor: Targets legs, bottom, arm and chest muscles. Just 30 minutes a day can make a real difference in toning and strengthening the entire body, including the lungs.
Smile factor: Lots of laps can lull you into a zen-like meditative state, while the negative ions in sea air increase our oxygen intake, boosting those feel-good serotonin levels.
Not only does it work the pelvic muscles, making it great for the waist, it's a mean kilojoule zapper to boot. Windusrfing instructor Tris Best explains:"The beauty is that you exercise many core muscle groups without realising it, because you're having so much fun."
Fitness factor: Windsurfing firms up your shoulders, forearms, lower back and legs. Just remember to slip, slop, slap, otherwise you'll burn more than kilojoules.
Smile factor: While newbies might spend most of their time falling into the water, once you've mastered the wind you'll feel invincible, well, unless you crash into the surfers nearby.
It uses nearly every muscle and is perfect for weight-loss as you'll be having too much fun to realise that you are actually burning major kilojoules."Most of our female divers lose a dress size scuba diving for one day a week during a six-week course," says scuba diving instructor Mark Hudson. Sign us up!
Fitness factor: It works the lungs, helps with cardiovascular fitness and can lower your blood pressure
Smile factor: Scuba diving is the ultimate underwater getaway. Just you, Nemo and perhaps a few hungry sharks… watch out behind you!
Bikini and sunglasses? Check. Volleyball net and ball? Check. You are all set to 'carve up the sand' with a little game called beach volleyball. Play with friends or challenge the locals to a friendly match. Beach volleyball develops all-round fitness, uses all muscles and demands a lot of exertion to keep the ball in play, so you'll definitely be burning fat, while you kick their butts, of course.
Fitness factor: Regular volleyball is great, but add sand to the mix and you've got a huge cardio workout. We're talking about 2,100kJ per hour!
Smile factor: OK, so volleyball is fun… but so is the beach barbecue afterwards as the sun goes down.