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When the weather’s nice you want to spend every free moment at the shore—even at the expense of gym time. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: Get in your workout on the beach.
Better yet: You won’t even need to drag out any equipment—or even wear shoes—to reap some major benefits.
“It’s estimated that it takes almost three times as much energy to walk and run in sand than it does on a flat, stable surface,” says fitness coach Chris Doherty, founder of Chris Doherty Fitness in NYC. The constantly-shifting sand makes every movement a balance challenge, forcing greater muscle recruitment in the entire body. He recommends going it barefoot: “Shoes might protect our feet from the dangers of the outside world, but they also inhibit our ability to adapt to the ground we were meant to live, work, and play on.”
Before you take on these workouts at the beach, be sure you can do the bodyweight exercises with good form on a flat, stable surface. And always do a quick warmup; Doherty recommends a heart-racer of 15 seconds each of: stationary jogs, butt kicks, jumping jacks, and high knees.
Workout 1: Set your timer for 8 minutes, and do as many rounds as possible of the following circuit, stopping only at the buzzer.
Workout 2: Do each of the four exercises for 20 seconds on, then 10 seconds off, for 8 rounds. “Each movement will be performed twice,” says Doherty.
Workout 3: Perform 10 reps of each movement back-to-back. That’s one round. Rest 60 seconds between rounds. Do 3 rounds total.
Workout 4: Perform each movement for 30 seconds, resting 15 seconds between movements. Rest for 60 seconds between rounds.
Workout 5: Speed through this one as quickly as you can, with good form. Rest only if you need to between rounds.