How To Keep Your Bikini Body While On Vacation
By Jessica Vozel
Vacation — even a day trip to the beach — can derail even the most dedicated fitness maven. Rich meals, late nights, an extra cocktail or two … we totally get why most fitness routines are dead in the water when you’re away from home. And who wants to spend their leisure time sweating in a poorly ventilated, 40-square foot hotel gym?
The good news is, the beach offers up a giant playground for you to keep your workout routine on track. For novice joggers and experienced runners alike, beach jogging is a completely customizable challenge, so you can get the exact workout you’re looking for, all with a stunning backdrop of the sun glittering on rolling waves.
What makes it great:
When you run on the beach, you expend 1.6 times more energy than road jogging, because your muscles have to compensate for the shifting surface. If you’re antsy to get back to relaxing, you can cut your workout time in half because you’re working harder.
When to go:
During low tide, there will be a wide stretch of wet, compact sand along the surf, which is sturdier than the collapsible, flour-soft stuff that you can feel working your calves when you walk on it. Both types of sand offer different kind of workouts. On the compact sand at low tide, you can more easily find your speed and rhythm. But if you like a slower burn and a more intense muscle-building workout, give the softer, dry sand a try. No matter what, stretch your leg muscles before and afterwards.
If you can roll out of bed, sunrise is an amazing time to jog on the beach. You get the cooler temps of early morning combined with the watercolor beauty of sunrise and relative solitude before the sunbathers arrive.
What to wear:
Minimalist running shoes with thin soles — or no shoes at all — work well for beach jogging because the sand’s resistance encourages a forefoot or mid-foot strike instead of a heel-strike (standard running shoes offer shock absorption for heel-strikers and may be too heavy for beach jogging). Disclaimer: if you’ve never used minimalist running shoes before, work your way up with short jogs of 15 minutes or less, and let yourself quit early if your leg muscles are strained.
Some solid minimalist running shoes are the New Balance Minimus ($109.99) or the goofy-but-comfortable Vibram Five Fingers ($90-$150). If you decide to try the ultimate in minimalist jogging — barefoot — watch out for seashells, glass, and other sharp objects.
As for clothes, regular jogging gear is fine — whatever’s comfortable. Just make sure that if you wear pants, they hug your ankles. Wet sand weighing down your bottom hems can make beach jogging miserable.
What to bring:
Consider forgoing the iPod and workout trackers (there’s potential for water damage and plus, you can let the surf be your soundtrack). But if you can’t enjoy your jog without them, it might be worth your investment to protect them with a waterproof case ($69.99).