Physical ActivityIf you are heading to the beach for a vacation this year, it does not mean you have to give up on your regular physical activity and exercise. In fact, there are several activities you can do seaside to increase the calories you burn while on vacation.

Walking on the beach - the sandy surface of the sea shore actually has some give to it, which makes walking, and even running, a little less stressful on your joints.  If the shoreline is at an angle however it may feel uncomfortable.  Try to walk or run on a flat part of the beach.  If you are walking and picking up seashells you will get even more exercise.  The motion of bending over will work your lower back and the top of your legs.  Just remember to bend your knees slightly as you bend down.

Swimming -If you are a swimmer, you may enjoy swimming out in the ocean. Swimming is great exercise and very easy on your joints.  There are a few hazards to be aware of: sea life, such as jellyfish and rip tides that could carry you out, away from shore.  Please remember to always have a buddy when you are out in the water or make sure that a lifeguard can see you.  

Other activities - There are many games and other activities commonly played on the beach that burn calories and are lots of fun for the whole family.   Building sandcastles or digging in the sand provides resistance that can work your upper body.  Many beach games such as paddleball, tag, or volleyball are all great ways to increase your heart rate.  Throwing a ball or a plastic disk out on the beach is a great way to work both your upper body and increase your heart rate.

As you prepare for vacation do not forget about getting regular physical activity.  At the beach there are still plenty of ways to enjoy your vacation and burn a few extra calories.

Source:  Nicole Peritore, Get Moving Kentucky Coordinator, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture

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