Finding five ways to exercise living near or visiting Virginia Beach, Virginia has many benefits. One of, if not the largest benefit, is our famous stretch of beach and boardwalk. Virginia Beach has a world-renowned sand beach and 3-mile long boardwalk that provides numerous opportunities for exercise and has frequent national events including sand soccer, volley ball, Something In the Water, and even Monster truck rallies. When you combine any two of these activities, you can find at least five fun ways to exercise at the beach.
You do not need a gym membership to find fun ways to exercise in our region. Recently, we published a blog about Coastal Virginia walking trails that provide a great starting point for your exercise journey.
From sunrise walks to yoga and biking, there are many ways to enjoy our regional beaches. Here are our five fun ways to exercise at the beach…and tips.
Go For A Walk
Go for a walk on a sandy beach in Virginia or walk along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Both provide healthy and free exercise. If your choice is to walk on a sandy beach, be sure to follow these tips from The Therapy Network:
- When walking on sand, start slow and practice moderation. Walking is low-impact aerobic exercise, but you do have to adjust to each step sinking in the sand.
- Wear shoes. You may be tempted to walk on the beach barefoot, but being barefoot puts more tension on your tendons and joints.
- Set your beach walking schedule around low tide. You can avoid the slope of the sand if you walk at low tide and near the water.
Enjoy a walk at sunrise, a mid-day workout, or an evening stroll. Walking on the beach or the adjacent boardwalk is a fun way to enjoy the beach and the benefits of exercise.
Yoga and Pilates
Many use yoga and Pilates to reduce stress, exercise, and tone. Add beautiful beach scenery and you have the perfect recipe for a fun activity on the beach. Here are some helpful tips for beach yoga and Pilates from the therapists at The Therapy Network:
- Leave the mat at home. It is perfectly OK to leave your yoga mat at home for your next beach yoga experience. Let the soft Virginia sand be your mat.
- But remember the sunscreen. Beach yoga and Pilates reduce stress and help you relax, but do not relax your efforts to prevent skin cancer. We always suggest sunscreen when exercising outdoors, especially at the beach.
- Remember to hydrate. Bring your favorite water bottle and remember to hydrate.
If yoga or Pilates is part of your fitness routine, we are sure you will want to add it to your five ways to exercise at the beach.
Go For a Run
You may be a runner that has a bucket list of favorite runs. Running along the water’s edge on a Virginia Beach may be on that list. But running on the beach comes with a set of challenges, and it is crucial to follow these tips below to stay safe and prevent injury:
- Keep long runs to the boardwalk. Running on sand is challenging, making it difficult to run for a long time.
- If you do decide to run on the soft Virginia sand, ensure that you change direction often to compensate for the slope of the beach. Set your schedule to run at low tide and on the firm sand along the waterline.
- As with walking, always wear shoes when running on the beach.
- With any exercise on the beach, stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.
If you are new to running, be sure to discuss both your running plan and your beach running plan with a professional. A professional therapist can provide custom tips and ensure your shoes are well-fitted.
Swimming in the Ocean or Chesapeake Bay
Although swimming is an excellent source of exercise, swimming in the ocean’s open waters or Chesapeake Bay takes some pre-planning and experience. Here are some essential tips:
- Review the NOAA Rip Current Survival Guide
- Only swim in a lifeguarded area
- Never swim alone
- Be Aware: Heed weather and water conditions and warnings.
Although swimming is of the top five ways to exercise at the beach, it is crucial to swim responsibly and heed all warnings.
Biking, Kayaking, and Paddle Boarding
Coastal Virginia has a unique infrastructure for biking, kayaking, and paddle boarding. All three are fun ways to exercise at the beach and surrounding waterways.
Need a bike? A favorite place to bike is along the flat, safe Virginia Beach Boardwalk. You will find beach bikes to rent along the way. Warm weather brings many visitors to the boardwalk. Some will be on bikes while others run or walk. For safety, we always suggest that you wear a helmet and be aware of your surroundings. Please make sure to watch for those stopping to take photos.
If kayaking or paddle boarding, tell someone about your plan and when to expect your return. And ALWAYS wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). If you are looking for places to launch your kayak or SUP, check out the website Virginia Water Trails.
The Therapy Network
After reading this blog, you may be thinking about enjoying these five fun ways to exercise on the beach. Fitness for these fun activities should be within your reach. However, if you are looking for a little help getting started, The therapists and athletic trainers at The Therapy Network are available to review your fitness level with a free wellness check. Remember, you never need a prescription to visit The Therapy Network.
If you live in the Hampton Roads area, there is a Therapy Network clinic near your neighborhood or place of work. We have appointments available today and do NOT require a prescription. Browse our website and make an appointment at one of our therapy centers today.