Sand, Sun, and Sweat!

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One may check out gyms, training studios, or an awe inspiring workout class to captivate that summer body we all crave. But with summer just around the corner, I ask you to consider the most beautiful facility that nature has given us; our local beaches. The beach is one of the most over looked locations to get away from it all and let go. Whether it be a day of beach volleyball, kayaking, or simply taking a walk, the beach is an aesthetically beautiful setting which sets the tone for any workout routine you may have. It is uplifting and peaceful, and one can escape or join in with others in various activities. Being near the water also has a very tranquil effect for a meditative and relaxing workout.

Perhaps taking a yoga mat with a friend and doing an ab/core routine with some stretches, or doing Pilates or yoga sounds like fun. Both provide good breathing, strengthening, and flexibility exercises that invigorate and restore the body. Utilizing bands into your routine here can also provide some resistance training for an added bonus. Resistance bands are an excellent replacement to hand weights and machines to vary your workouts. Simulating a ‘bicep curl’ or a ‘row’ are just some of the many exercises that you can do with a band. I find with my clients and group training classes that a beach workout will motivate your mind as well as your body.

But don’t let tranquility and peaceful fool you. Our beaches can also provide an environment for a vigorous workout any time of day. One way is utilizing the sand. The sand provides an excellent source for running or walking. It gives the body different feedback to the muscles, and trains them in a way that is safer than the pavement. It is challenging being on a softer surface because it makes your leg muscles work harder. Therefore, our ‘balancing’ muscles are activated to avoid this sinking, which gives us a great cross-training tool to do ‘walking lunges,’ ‘squats,’ and ‘jumping jacks.’

What about simply getting in the water? Yes, it can be cold, but even if you don’t have a wet suit, braving the water can be refreshing. Swimming in the ocean against nature’s elements brings a sense of accomplishment and you feel confident. Again, this is another way to get out of your normal routine and play in nature’s backyard.

Another form of exercise many Santa Barbarians enjoy is riding their bikes. Our beaches are lined with paths to burn calories and sitesee all at the same time. Biking is very easy on the joints and provides a great alternative to pounding the pavement. Whether you are on a beach cruiser or on a road bike, the bike path along our coast is one of the best, and has some great terrain for getting that heart rate up.

For those of you wanting more of a challenging workout, perhaps triathlon training is more your speed. Incorporating all three of these activities gives our local athlete the perfect training facility. Our community provides all sorts of different organizations and training groups that one can join to help you along in your training.

Which ever workout routine you choose, remember to be safe, and be aware of your surroundings. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and any extra equipment that you may need to ‘play it safe.’ I welcome your questions and look forward to helping you towards a happier healthy lifestyle. Fun, efficient, and motivating workouts are ready and waiting for you.

Charise Bacchus, CPT PES CES

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