A summer holiday, apart from being a vital break allowing you to “let off some steam”, may also provide you with the opportunity to “recharge your batteries” by continuing your physical fitness programme in tandem with exercises conducted in natural surroundings. According to Georgos Vaiou, personal trainer and World Swimming Champion, owner of the Go Vital personal training studio (Thessaloniki), during the summer you may continue your exercise programme - be it aerobic or muscle strengthening - much more pleasantly and just as effectively, wherever you are. Peruse the alternative solutions that we propose to enable you to continue (or even resume exercising after a prolonged period of inertia) your fitness programme, and keep in good shape during your vacation, thereby promoting a sense of well-being.
Running in soft sand
This is traditionally the most effective, tried and tested exercise for the whole of the body. Running in soft sand requires 1.5 times more energy than running on firm ground, thus making you stronger. The best spot, at least to begin with, is the wet sand next to the water’s edge. If you prefer dry sand, lower your speed and shorten your stride length.
Tip : Run for ten minutes in the soft sand, making for vigorous exercise but at a slower speed. Continue for a further ten minutes on firmer sand, near the water’s edge, repeating this exercise pattern for as long as you can endure it. This type of exercise will help you to burn off more calories.
Also known as “the kangaroo hop”, leg springs with both legs and the simultaneous forward movement of the body, and on the spot hopping on one leg are ideal exercises for the beach thanks to the resistance from the soft sand, which significantly increases the degree of difficulty, facilitating improved balance and the strengthening of leg joints.
Find a rock / bench / sunbed / chair and support your body with the palms of your hands turned downwards and your outstretched arms at shoulders height. Very slowly lower your body, bending your arms until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle and then quickly straighten them back to their fully stretched position once more. The secret of success is to modulate all your weight with your arm movements, while holding your pelvis and knees steady. Attempt to complete four sets of twelve repetitions at a relatively quick pace. This exercise strengthens the biceps and triceps of the arms, as well as the shoulders.