The beach can be a great natural gym, but not everybody wants to go through their workout in front of dozens of critical sunbathers.

So instead, here’s our ‘plan B’: five simple, enjoyable, effective holiday exercises that you can do without coming over all ‘ooh look at me, I’m working out on the beach’.


1. Walk in the sea – shin, knee (or for the advanced option) waist deep.

20-30 mins of this once or twice a day will challenge your legs and abs, and give your heart and lungs a good workout.

2. Sea swimming

Though you’re more buoyant in salt water, pushing through waves is tougher than swimming laps in a pool, so your shoulders, legs and cardiovascular system will get more of a workout. Also, the waves make you work harder to stabilise yourself, which is great for the core muscles.

3. Beach frisbee and/or cricket

You might look like you’re just having fun, but both provide a great upper and lower body workout. Sand sinks and shifts as you move, so your legs, glutes and core have to work harder to maintain stability balance and forward motion.

Chasing the frisbee or ball, you’ll also find yourself having to run backwards (great for the bum) sideways (a brilliant inner and outer thigh toner). Throwing the frisbee, bowling and batting are all great for working the torso, arms and upper back muscles.

4. If your children are confident in the water, they’ll enjoy using you as a human diving board

Stabilising yourself against the waves will work your core, while the effort of tossing your kids in the air makes a great workout for the legs, arms, chest and back. And as it’s a source of never-ending joy for most kids, you’ll end up doing this for longer than you intended – so great for muscular endurance, too.

5. If that’s all a bit too public, you can even work out on your sun lounger

Lift up onto your elbows and straighten the legs for a cheeky plank, or roll onto your side, straighten your top leg and lift it just a few inches up off the bottom leg.

Draw little circles for a minute and then reverse the circles. Discreet – and still a great toner for the bum.


Lastly, however you’re doing it, exercising in hot sun makes it even more important to keep your fluid levels topped up regularly. (And no, pineapple mojitos don’t count.)

Share this: