Summer Workouts: Beach Edition

Did you know that Michigan has over 3,200 miles of shoreline surrounding over 11,000 inland lakes and the five Great Lakes?

All of these beaches offer the perfect spot to try something new this summer, like taking your workout to the beach. Exercising on the beach allows you to spice up your workout, while enjoying the summertime weather.

The Benefits

The most obvious benefit is the opportunity to be outside. Not only are you getting in your daily exercise, but you’re able to benefit from being in the sun. Exposure to sunlight increases the brain’s release of serotonin, which has been associated with relieving anxiety, reducing depression and helping individuals fall asleep. Exercising in the sand is also much harder than doing the same exercise on solid ground. This is because the muscles in your feet and legs have to work harder, as well as the muscles in your core to stabilize your body. Due to this increased consumption of energy, you will also burn more calories making for a more effective workout.

Tips for Beach Workouts

  • Start with your favorites. When first trying a beach workout, begin with some of your favorite activities, whether that’s running, yoga, volleyball, or high-intensity interval training. Choosing the activity you enjoy the most could make it easier for you to start, as workouts in the sand can be tough.
  • Find a workout buddy. This could be a friend, family member or co-worker. They can serve as someone to try this new workout experience with and to encourage you to get through it.
  • Make sure to stretch. This is important with every workout, but movement in sand causes your muscles to work harder than normal, which makes a short stretch session that much more important.
  • Stay hydrated. Since you’ll be outdoors and in direct sunlight, make sure to drink enough water. The more you’re sweating, the more water you should be drinking. Make sure to pack water and eat water-based foods after the workout.

Beach Workout Events

If you are looking for a more organized way to get involved with beach workouts, yoga is a great way to start. Check out one of these classes near you:

  • Pentwater, Michigan—Located in Mears State Park, Smiling Lotus Yoga will be offering a beach yoga and meditation class every Tuesday through August 29 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Participants should meet at the beach playground. It is $10 per class.
  • Mears, Michigan—Kalon Arts and Yoga Company is offering flow beach inside of Silver Lake State Park, as part of MI Big Green Gym. The classes are every Saturday and run through September 9 from 9-10 a.m. The cost is $10 and participants should meet at the Little Point Sable Lighthouse.
  • Lakeport, Michigan—Come to Lakeport State Park to enjoy beach yoga brought to you by Happy Dog Yoga Studio on Saturday mornings through August 26 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Meet on the beach in front of the park store.
  • Muskegon, Michigan—Bring your entire family to the Hoffmaster State Park to enjoy yoga together, as part of MI Big Green Gym. Classes are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:15-10:30 a.m, and cost is $10 per person or $25 per family. Meet at the changing courts.

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Photo Credit: Michael Coglan

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