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Your Workout Can Be "A Day At The Beach"

With Fall right around the corner a “Day at the Beach” may be just what your workout plan needs. In many areas of the country September is an awesome time to be at the Beach. It’s often less crowded, less humid, somewhat cooler and perhaps ideal for a Beach Workout. Here on Long Island I lead clients through a Beach workout once a week. We workout through the Summer but in the evening when the Sun isn’t quite as strong. There is usually a terrific breeze coming off the water which keeps things cooler and the pesky mosquitoes away.

There are many ways to grab a Beach Workout. Here’s what we do…

Often we forego the use of equipment. This leg workout gets us mobile and uses more of the beach. We start closer to the water where the sand is firm, yet not too too wet. (Some wear water shoes or go barefoot for this one). Each segment proceeds along the shore line, is 45 seconds in duration then turns to head back in the opposite direction for the next segment.

First we walk. Your basic walk will do, preferably slightly brisk. Next it’s up on tip toes to get those calves involved. Then we break into an easy jog or brisker walk. The next 3 segments keep us in place for 45 second sets (each) of squats, lunges and side leg lifts (switching legs about ½ way through). Then we take it from the top – walk, tip toe, jog, squat, lunge, side leg lift, until we have gone through the entire circuit 3 times.

Then it’s up to softer sand. The softer sand is a bit more challenging when it comes to both intensity and balance. This circuit is the opposite of the first. It starts with travelling lunges, followed by travelling squats (standing sideways – step the right leg out to the side into a 90 degree squat - stand up bringing the left leg in - - - after 45 seconds we repeat stepping out with the left and that has us moving back in the opposite direction). Then it’s jog in place, jumping jacks, and simulated rope jumping. Exercising control and caution to avoid kicking up the sand is an added challenge of the routine. All segments are 45 seconds in duration, and once again we go through the full circuit 3 times. .

Some days after completing both circuits a total of 3 times, we venture into the adjoining park for some bench push-up, dips and crunches to round things out. Nonetheless, we are always sure to round out these workouts by fitting any missed exercises/muscle groups into our other workouts during the week.

There are times when a full body workout is in order. For that we usually go with a medicine ball and or elastic band workout. Sometimes we use mats and include lying exercises like chest press, crunches and side leg lifts. More often we minimize contact with the sand and do this circuit standing. We include: Bent-over rows, squats, shoulder presses, lunges, bicep curls, side leg lifts, triceps overhead extensions, and heel raises. We do 45 seconds to 1 minute of each exercise and repeat the circuit 3 times.

Throughout the month we often trade our Med balls and bands for dumbbells. In those instances we usually do a combo of seated, lying and standing exercises. We are sure to have the towels or mats for this one. Here’s my favorite: chest press, side lying leg lifts, seated (often referred to as Russian) twists, seated shoulder presses, squats, one arm rows, lunges, bicep concentration curls, heel raises, triceps kickbacks, crunches. There are days we do them in that order for 60 seconds each in circuit form. On hotter days or when we are looking for a change we slow the pace, forgo the circuit and go with 3 consecutive sets of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise. When using this straight set format we usually begin with upper (chest press, one arm row, shoulder press, curl, kickback), move on to legs (squat, lunge, side leg lift, heel raise) and finish with abs (seated twist, crunch)

Regardless of the workout we choose, we always park a bit away from the workout site and use the 6 minute walk there as our warm-up. That walk also serves as the cool-down on the way back to our cars where we end with 5 minutes of stretching.

If these workouts don't peak your interest, create your own. You can always keep it simple with a beach walk or jog.

Remember all exercises are not suitable for all individuals. Be sure to have your physician’s approval before beginning any exercise program.

Just a quick note, yes unless it’s a private beach you may draw a few glances from beach goers. The one thing we have learned is that the “lookie Lou’s” are really only giving you that look because you are doing what they should be: taking care of your Health and Wellness and enjoying it!

Your workout can be “a Day At The Beach”. Enjoy!

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LORI HODGKINSONSenior Correspondent

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