Forget the Gym: Beach-Side Fitness is the Best Way to Keep Fit!

kids playing ball on Dawlish warren beachTriathlon swimmingTriathlon running
 

Think beach, and inevitably, an idyllic image comes to mind. Relaxing on the warm sand, dipping a toe in the sea, or perhaps half-heartedly throwing a beach ball or two to the kids, but certainly nothing too arduous, after all, you’re here to relax, right? Certainly enjoying a day of blissful indolence at the beach is not without its charms, and Dawlish Warren has more than enough sun-seekers flocking to its golden coastline in the summer season. However, if you limit your view of the seaside to being simply a location of relaxation, then you are missing a trick. The beach is an excellent place in which to get fit, get involved in some serious aerobic exercise and tone the body, all without spending a single penny! It’s time to give the gym a wide berth, and to head instead to enjoy the simple pleasure of exercising on the coast. The fresh sea breeze, the taste of the salty air and the prospect of diving into the water if you get too hot; what’s not to like?

What Exercise Can You Enjoy at Dawlish Warren?

Here at Dawlish Warren, the landscape is particularly blessed when it comes to natural surroundings that lend themselves well to exercise. Not only is the seafront the perfect training ground for some serious beach running, but we also have coastal paths that are almost custom designed for cycling and running, not to mention the extensive warrens themselves, which offer a different type of terrain for exercise. Then of course, there is the sea itself, which provides the perfect environment for swimming and kayaking. In fact, Dawlish Warren is considered so excellent for sporting activities that it now plays host to the annual Dawlish Triathlon. The event, consisting of an open water swim, a 21.5km cycle and a 6km run, is so popular that now, over 400 people take part each year. Find the thought a little daunting? Here’s how to get started…

Where to Start When Exercising at the Beach

It’s important, as with any form of exercise, to start slowly and to progress at a rate that suits you. Tempting though it is to push yourself to the limits, this can often have an adverse effect, damaging the body and putting you off ever wanting to do it again. If you’re new to exercising, start by going for a walk, maintaining a faster pace than you would normally. Once you’re in the habit of exercising regularly, you can then begin to train. Remember that beach running in particular can be quite hard-going (which is why it’s brilliant, it burns up to 30% more calories!) and it’s a good idea to practice running on smoother surfaces first.

Some Thoughts on Safety

Safety is important too. Remember that the beach is a changeable environment, and is affected by tide. Always check the times of the tide before embarking on a run, and also when swimming. It goes without saying that it is not advisable to go swimming if there is any turbulence in the water, and to be aware of any currents. It’s also incredibly important to invest in the right equipment, particularly a good pair of running shoes, which will soften the impact of running, particularly on our coastal path, especially if you plan on running on a regular basis. Although setting yourself a strict running plan can be beneficial for you health and self discipline, it’s also important to give yourself a reality check every so often too. Exercise is addictive, and sometimes it can be easy to lose yourself in the thrill of exercising, sometimes to a dangerous extent. It can be tempting to turn to artificial methods of improving endurance, but essentially, the best (and some might say only) way to exercise is to keep it natural, and focus instead on working on your technique, keeping fit and eating a good diet. Keep these simple rules in mind though, and you are sure to have a fantastic time as you start to exercise on the beach!

What Are You Waiting For?

There’s never been a better time to get started. The Dawlish Warren Triathlon is in September, so there is still time to get training for the big event. A past competitor managed to complete the event in just over 67 minutes; do you think you could give that person a run for their money? There’s only one way to find out, so what are you waiting for? Get those running shoes tied, your water bottle filled, and head over to Dawlish Warren now, for the best free workout available!
 

Nature reserve at Dawlish WarrenRNLI Beach sign at Dwalish WarrenDawlish Triathlon