By Amber Arneson
For a fitness fanatic or health maven, a beach vacation isn’t a free pass to indulge on calorie-laden cocktails and lounge from morning until night. Your mind and body thrives off exercise, and your sanity depends on the heart-pumping highs. Since you’ll be away from home and your routine this summer, you can use some handy smartphone apps to help you stay on track. You must first make a commitment to having a relaxing, yet also active, vacation. Rather than look forward to lazily spending your days on the beach snacking and drinking, plan ahead to make it an adventurous, active trip. From sandy and sweaty beach workouts to ocean paddle boarding, vacation workouts aren’t 30 minutes on the gym elliptical.
Use Nature as Your Gym
Road tripping for a girlfriends getaway to La Jolla, California? Flying with the family to the Bahamas? Experience the sea with a kayaking excursion or stand-up paddle boarding. Bopping along the ocean waves or touring the crystal-clear open sea on a paddle board will be blissful escapes that also work the body. Kayaking is a full-body, low-impact workout that targets the arms and shoulders. With each stroke, your core muscles and legs get in on the action too. One hour of kayaking can burn between 395 and 465 calories, notes NutriStrategy. Paddleboarding also works the core while raising the heart rate.
If you’re headed out for an ocean excursion, Sea Tow is one of the best apps you can have. Weather, tide, moon phases, bearings and GPS are all features of this app necessary for boaters or any ocean adventurer. If you are stuck or need help, use Sea Tow to contact it’s 24-hour dispatch center.
As a cross-training cardio workout that focuses on balance and strength, you’ll engage the abdominal muscles and work the arms. You can also use nature as your gym by snorkeling, hiking or playing beach volleyball.
Pack Running Shoes
Throw on a tank and shorts, lace up those Brooks, and hit the sand for a morning beach-side run. As the sun rises over the horizon and ocean breezes whip by, you’ll just want to run harder and faster, soaking in every moment. The beauty of running is that mile upon mile you can run anywhere. Run up and down the boardwalk. Run into town past surf shops and breakfast diners. Run on dry sand for intensity. Run on wet sand to take in the salty sea air. Run your heart out — because you’re on vacation at the beach.
The Nike+ GPS running app is perfect to take with you on vacation. Track your speed and distance through the GPS feature. Stay motivated and involved through the online community and music player. This free app provides trail terrain info, weather and alternate routes. It tracks your calories burned, running time, strengths and weaknesses.
BlackBerry Yoga Workout
If you’re vacation with the whole fam, you’ll probably have to schedule your workouts early in the morning. before the little ones awake. Boogie boarding, building sand castles and playing beach paddle board will work up a sweat, but an early-morning sun salutation and warrior pose can nourish the spirit, refreshing the mind and body. New cell phones such as BlackBerry Z10 and Curve offer Yoga for health apps that can be your yoga mentor while on vacay. Take your mat to the beach and start your practice with the serene sound of waves crashing. Holding tree or chair pose on the back patio while overlooking a seaside vista isn’t a bad spot either. Namaste!
Amber is an athlete through and through. She has competed in triathlons all over country, and loves to write about health, wellness and green living.