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How To Get In Shape For The Beach, On The Beach

By Daniel Alcock

At this time every year, people join gyms to attempt to get fit in time for summer, when really all this can be done in the pleasanter and cheaper surroundings of the beach.

In this article we will discuss keep-fit methods on the beach alongside the importance of fitness in surfing.  Also, we will talk about how to set yourself targets and goals to ensure that your fitness regime doesn't last just one (well intentioned, but one nevertheless) week!

The Beach -The World's Best Gym
You don't need to be some muscle bound pro surfer to use the beach as a training ground. Each one of us can benefit from this natural gymnasium and use what it has to offer for our specific goals. We have at our disposal a running track, the biggest swimming pool in the world (and saltiest!) and we may even catch a little colour whilst we train! The consistency of the sand means we do far less damage to our joints whilst running and in the summer months, the beach is a far cooler place to be than any sweaty gym.

Another good exercise for fitness is swimming but please be careful where you swim.  Pay attention to flags and warning signs and no matter how good a swimmer you are, stay in your depth (training is just as effective by swimming within your depth, parallel to the beach, as further away from the shore).

Setting Targets And Goals
Before we begin with our personal fitness regime, we must consider our targets and set out realistic personal goals. This is very important for maintaining our motivation.  Setting unrealistically high targets or not having a personal goal to achieve will mean we feel less inclined to train.  In our surf school we are going to start competing in surf contests this summer, giving the children a good focus for their personal fitness targets. If you think of the end results, your training will be more enjoyable and you will be more motivated.

Example: Surf Club

Targets: Our target in the surf club is to surf the best we can during the contest, given the time available and our goal is to simply enhance our fitness a little with small amounts of controlled fitness preparation.  The key lies in achievable goals and a regime which doesn't over train our bodies, take up too much of our time or make a pleasant experience into a chore.

Goals: For surfing (our target for the surf club children), the main elements of fitness are endurance, flexibility, upper body strength and core strength.  Exercises which enhance these aspects will have to be incorporated.  Our training programme attempts to tackle all of these elements in a gentle way suitable for children.  It is important to note that our training should be conditioned for our needs (the training for a 12-year-old starting out in surf competitions is very different to that of a world champion surfer's training regime).

Appropriate Fitness Regime

We will tackle our goals in the following way:

Endurance - 10 minutes jog
Flexibility - 15 minutes stretching
Upper body - 10 press ups repeated over three times
Core strength - 10 abdominal exercises repeated over three times

And it is as simple as this - half an hour each day and the child is improving his physical fitness with regard to surfing and at the same time focusing mentally on the surf contest.

Your Personal Targets
Your own regime should reflect your personal goals. For example, those whose target is to lose a little weight before summer could consider spending more time on cardio vascular exercises; those who want to concentrate on certain specific parts of their body can pick exercises to suit these.

Beach Games For Fitness
At the end of the day, the best way to train is to play!  The beach offers us ways to kick up a sweat and have fun at the same time; beach volleyball and beach football are just two possibilities but also surfing should be considered as an excellent way of getting into shape. Surfing is a fun way to a cardiovascular workout which, at the same time, strengthens the arms, shoulders and back.  Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson and Jennifer Aniston have attributed surfing as a major part in their fitness regime.

So from fitness training on the beach, to beach soccer, to surfing your way to a trim body, your beach offers you a natural and fun option to getting fit for summer!

For info on surf classes or to enrol the children in Surf Summer Camp, call Surf Canaries Surf School on 686 211 996 (Annika), 677 704 981 (Danny), or check out our website at www.surf-canaries.com

Featured Surfer of the Week
Name: Cristian
Age: 14
Nationality: Spanish
School: I.E.S. Arguineguin
Height: 173cm
Weight: 67kg
Time Surfing: 5 months
The Best Thing About Surfing: How it feels to go down a wave
The Worst Thing About Surfing: The cold and the wipeouts!
Surf Board: 61" Tropical Brasil
Favourite Surf Spot: Almaciga, Tenerife
Best Location in the World: Australia
Girlfriend: No
Favourite Food: Lasagna
Worst Food: Spinach
Favourite Drink: 7Up
Favourite Manoeuvre: Aerial, Snap
Favourite Surfer: Kelly Slater
Favourite Music: Reggae
Other Interests: Martial Arts, Studying
Ambition in Life: To surf and have a good job

 

 

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