5 Fun Ways to Exercise at the Beach Even if You're Afraid of Water

fun ways to exercise at the beach - tree pull ups
By Louise Pool
I love hanging out in the water. Floating on my back staring at the sky whilst trying to split clouds is my idea of heaven. Now and again, I'll swim a few strokes just to feel the water lapping against my skin. If I feel like a little more exercise, I'll jump in the waves and have been known to indulge in a bit of body surfing as well.

But I know there are countless islanders who can't swim. Maybe they're not really aquaphobes, but the thought of being out in the deep blue sea where feet don't touch the ground will trigger a minor (or major) panic attack or at least get that adrenalin coursing through the veins with no thought of a fight response.

Fear not; there are other fun ways to keep fit at the beach. Here are some ideas:

1. Frisbee
Tossing a frisbee is a fun activity that engages your shoulders and arms while improving hand-eye coordination. If your partner sucks at throwing a frisbee (try playing with me sometime...), you'll be doing lots of running as well. If you don't have a frisbee, improvise with that plastic plate you used at the beach barbeque.

2. Beach volleyball
This fun game calls on your hips and legs for running and jumping and your upper body for striking the ball. If you can get a good bunch of people together, it also builds team spirit among all participants.

3. Beach walking
You can stroll barefoot along the dry part of the sand far far away from that nasty water. Because it's harder to walk on dry sand, you'll expend greater energy and get a good workout for your ankles and calves. Even more fun if you combine it with beachcombing. (Check out this infographic to find out more about the benefits of walking on the beach.)

4. Beach badminton or paddle ball
These fun games use your full body, and help improve speed, agility and hand-eye coordination. One thing all of these games have in common is that they involve bursts of high-intensity effort followed by a little downtime or rest, so you'll get your interval training. Some say that's all you need for good health.

5. Beach rugby
This one is for the hard core amongst you. You get all the fitness benefits of the above, get to boost your testosterone and a few injuries to boot. If you're in Seychelles, there's a game at Beauvallon now and again. Check out the Seychelles Beach Rugby group on Facebook, if you think you're tough enough to join.

And don't forget random Takamaka trees for pull ups and the like...

  PS: If you're feeling really lazy, you can still reap health benefits from going to the beach.

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