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On the Coast Magazine

Fitness On the Coast

04/30/2013 04:52PM ● Published by Nancy Babin

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Are you ready for the beach?  We live in an area touted for having the most beautiful beaches in the world - white, powdery sand with emerald green water lapping on the shore.  Our coastline is a bevy of excitement in the summertime, and life is more exciting if we get to participate.   The level to which we are able to participate depends on our fitness level.  If we look at this continuum: 


we see that each of us falls somewhere along it.  

How well are you able to get in and out of a chair?  Do you need to use your arms to stand up?  You may be in the Sick to Healthy area and need some additional strength.  Are you able to get the paddleboard or kayak off the roof of your vehicle with ease?  Then you may be in the Fitness to Competitive area.  We all fall on the continuum somewhere and that can change depending on our task, recent activities, food intake, etc.  There is a lot that goes on.  

Here’s the point:  What is preventing you from doing all you could?   Here is a list of some of the activities you may be participating in this summer.  (Please keep in mind that if you go to the mountains, the demands on your body increase due to altitude and the change of elevation, requiring your muscles to be used more.)   Ready to go to the beach?  Look for these activities in order of increasing intensity: Sitting, reading, walking, crabbing, sand castle construction, fishing, parasailing, riding a WaveRunner in calm waters, sailing, and surfing/paddling (to include standup paddle boarding, body surfing, boogie boarding & surfing).   Off the beach we hit other areas of fun: shopping, hiking, boating, go carts, and water parks.  

Did you notice I put water parks last?  Going down the slides is good fun, but I have spoken to many a parent who said they were sore after a day at a park due to all the stairs!  Wanna go down?  You must go up first.  Helloooooo, legs!   I encourage everyone to inventory what is easy and work on improvement.  Did you notice I said “work?”  Improvement doesn’t just happen, but the exercises necessary to improve are quite simple, do not necessitate a gym membership and, performed over time, can yield amazing results!  

Squats, step ups, even going up and down the stairs and the dune walk-overs, pushups (you can do them; they just may need to be adapted to your level which is not a big deal), even walking can help.  For most, a jog or run is necessary; however, if that hurts the joints, maybe a backpack filled with bottles of water can be used to increase the resistance, thus strengthening the muscles.   The trick here is to move forward.  “Even if we are on the right track, we need to move because we’ll get run over if we just stay there.”  Our bodies respond to the demands we place on them.  Go ahead - try it.  If you have any doubts about where you are starting from, see a doctor to be sure you do not have a preexisting condition, and seek a qualified personal trainer for training and education of proper exercises, intensity, frequency of workouts and progressions.  The investment you make will be in you and yours forever.   

Lastly, we cannot forget to go refuel.  Eat properly and enjoy yourself.   

Make it a Great Summer!  

About the Author
Paul Hunter lives On the Coast with his wife, three children infusing his playful style with science to yield astonishing results at Grayton Beach Fitness. Grayton Beach Fitness has recently been voted, “Best Place to Workout on 30-A.” You may reach him at

Grayton Beach Fitness - Grayton Beach, FL
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Today, Today fitness paul hunter may/june 2013 beach summer sick healthy competitive
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