1. SWIM AND SLIM DOWN
Want a killer cardio workout that’ll also get you long and lean? Go for a swim! Open-water swimming is an ideal full body activity and burns up to 500 calories an hour. Before you take the plunge, throw on a snug, supportive suit (that won’t fall off when you hit the waves) and a pair of goggles to keep the saltwater from stinging your eyes. Then, pick a landmark 200 to 400 meters away – try a house, the next lifeguard chair, or an umbrella in the distance. Jump in past the breakers and swim towards your mark, staying parallel to the shore so the current doesn’t carry you away. When you’ve reached your destination, turn around and swim back to your starting point, then head towards the shore. Extra points if you catch a wave on your way in!
2. NOTHING BUT NET
If you’ve got a net, you’ve got a workout. Sports like volleyball, beach tennis, and badminton can net you a whopping 400-plus calorie burn in an hour while working almost every muscle group from your arms to your calves. And while playing these sports, you can work up a sweat while staying sexy in your fave bikini (just don’t forget the SPF to protect all of that exposed skin from the sun!)
3. SURF’S UP
What’s hotter than the sand on a sunny afternoon? You on a surf board! Celebrities like Cameron Dias burn 215 calories in just one hour in the waves, and all of that paddling, balancing and cutting through the water works arms, abs and legs. Not quite ready to hang-ten? You can still get a wicked core and arms workout boogie boarding or body surfing.
4. GET MOVING
Running on the sand – you either love it or hate it. But one thing’s for sure: It takes more muscle power to get a smooth stride on the soft sand than the roads. Plus, it gets your heart rate up quicker, guaranteeing a more intense workout. If you’re going to do a beach run, stick to the hard-packed sand near the shore (it’s less punishing on your legs), and wear your running shoes, as going barefoot just invites injuries.
And if a slower stroll along the shore is more your thing, don’t fret. You’ll get the same benefits from the sand regardless of your speed. For an added boost, try walking in ankle-deep water, which provides more resistance and makes your muscles work even harder.
5. HAVE A BALL
While it’s fun to watch those hot jocks in Jams playing catch in the surf, who says you can’t join ’em? An hour’s worth of tossing a football, baseball, or Frisbee can wrack up a 100-calorie burn, plus work your shoulders, biceps, and triceps while you’re at it. So pack a few balls in your beach bag (or better yet, just ask to borrow one from those cute guys!).
6. BEACH YOGA
Forget the studio – do your sun salutations in the actual sun! Nothing’s more Zen than the sound of waves crashing on the shore, plus, perfecting your prana on the beach builds muscles in your feet, hips, knees, and shoulder joints. Don’t have your yoga routine embedded in your brain? Try this yoga routine for a Zen workout suitable for the sand!