Get Active: 5 Ways to Exercise on the Beach

Get Active: 5 Ways to Exercise on the Beach

How you can stay fit while travelling in the tropics
Alexander & VictoriaHi! We're Alex & Victoria - a digital nomad couple from Copenhagen escaping 9-5 to chase adventures in our beautiful world. Learn more about us here.
Do you miss exercising regularly when you travel?

Or do you want to keep in shape while away on longer trips?

If you are used to going to the gym a few times a week or to being on the move in your daily life, your hard-earned six pack can easily turn into a softer pack after a vacation.

Especially if vacation means lounging by the pool drinking piña coladas.

During our three and a half months in Asia in 2017/2018, we had to think alternatively about exercising.

We were often near beautiful beaches, and we soon discovered that there are plenty of ways to use the soft sand for more than tanning, reading and napping.

And fortunately, fresh air, the sound of the ocean and the feeling of sand between your toes makes for a wonderful workout environment.

Here are five great activities on the beach that rev up your metabolism.

1. Running

Running up and down the beach is in many ways a perfect exercise.

It doesn’t require any preparation, special equipment or experience. Just put one foot in front of the other.

Running through sand is tough and will probably slow you down, but it’s generally easier on your knees and joints.

Mornings and evenings usually mean fewer crowds, more bearable temperatures and a lower risk of catching a sunburn while catching your breath.

And please, remember to put on sweat-proof sunscreen if you’re going for a long run in the sun, anyway.

Alexander prefers to run in the early AM or just before dinner.

He warms up by running the length of the beach one way, and then does mixed intervals on the way back.

The ultimate reward after a beach run is to jump directly into the waves.

Alex running on beach
Alex running laps on the beach in Tinos, Greece.

2. Yoga

It’s the most amazing feeling to do a yoga session in the early morning sunlight.

And one of the best things about yoga is that you can practice it almost everywhere!

Of course, it requires that you’re familiar with a few yoga poses, but if you haven’t tried doing yoga before, there are many beginner videos on YouTube that you can check out in advance.

If you have a sarong or a beach towel to get your zen on, you avoid getting too much sand on your hands and feet.

It’s probably nicest to practice yoga in the cooler hours around sunset if you aren’t too fond of getting up real early (…like a certain writer of this article).

Morning yoga on San Blas in Panama
Morning yoga on San Blas in Panama.

3. Bodyweight exercises

Like yoga, many bodyweight exercises can be practiced almost anywhere. And it can be a simple, yet effective way to improve strength, balance and even flexibility.

Deciding on a routine with several exercises in advance is a smart thing to do.

Try different types of squats, push-ups, lunges, burpees or planks. The softness and instability of the sand can give you a whole new set of challenges.

It requires tremendous self-discipline to make bodyweight exercises into a proper workout by yourself, though. Teaming up with someone can be motivating and make the whole ordeal into something social and enjoyable.

4. Swimming

Swimming is an incredible way to use your entire body. Nearly all of the major muscles get activated, which is why it’s a good full body workout.

Swimming also gets your heart rate up while the physical impact on your body is relatively low.

And since many of us aren’t born in the water and aren’t too efficient in our stroking techniques, you’ll burn a ton of calories.

Swimming in turquoise waters
Swimming in turquoise waters like this is good for the soul as well as for the body.

5. Play and have fun

Even though you aren’t a child, there’s no shame in playing on the beach.

It can be an unusually fun way to move your body during your vacation.

Build a sandcastle, play beach tennis or throw a beach ball to each other in the water. You can also practice your handstands.

The only limit is your imagination.

Alex practicing his handstand
Alex practicing his handstand on the endless Long Beach in the Philippines.
Thanks for reading!

Are you already doing one or several of these activities on the beach? Or do you have a good tip to how to stay in shape while on the road?

Let us know in the comments below.

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