Avoid Injury When You Work Out at the Beach

Beach workouts not only make for great Instagram content, but they’re also an excellent way to stay active while on vacation. Picture this – the beach beckons you to work out at the ocean’s edge, salt air breezes through your hair, and the sun glitters on ocean waves. But before taking your exercise out onto the dunes, make sure your workout moves are effective and safe. Here’s how to avoid injury and strengthen muscles you need for extra stability.

Prep

Before starting your workout, check the area. Make sure there are no sharp objects such as broken glass hidden in the sand.

Exercises that were a piece of cake on a hard floor become extra challenging on shifting sand. Just walking in sand fires up small stabilizing muscles in your feet, hips and back. Even the most basic exercises performed in the sand will require you to utilize different muscles than normal!

Remember, there is a downside to falling on sand. While landing a fall on sand doesn’t hurt as much as falling on pavement, a sand burn is a drawback of falling or sliding on the rough sand. Similarly, working out an unstable surface can aggravate joint instability – particularly when it comes to your joints absorbing shock on the sand. Soft sand offers a little more give and requires more shock absorption than those hard studio surfaces. While the impact force on sand may be less, the shear stress is greater. An example of shear stress is the femur sliding across the top of the tibia. Exercising on sand can worsen any instability or injury in the knees, ankles, hips, or lower back. Be sure to check with your doctor before you begin exercising on the sand if you’ve had an injury such as an ankle sprain, a knee injury, issues with your hips, or back problems.

Build Up Your Beach Routine

Allow your body some time to adjust so you can avoid injury by starting slow and building up the intensity. Remember, you’re going to be working muscles that are not accustomed to exercise. Consider starting with a slower speed and a lower resistance than usual. Then, when you feel good, gradually build up your beach routine!

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