Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lose Weight at the Beach

Lose Weight at the Beach

We crunched some numbers to find your personalized activity PointsPlus values and spoke with some experts to get you motivated. What makes it so tough? Schuler says there's a lack of elasticity in your step when your feet are sinking into the sand, which causes resistance. "In addition, you're playing an aerobic sport with constant changes of direction and starts and stops that go against your momentum and cause you to expend more energy."

Toss the Frisbee

Throwing a plastic disc around may be worth fewer activity PointsPlus values than other sandy pursuits, but Schuler gives you kudos for at least standing on your feet: "Standing barefoot in the sand is going to use some energy and your startandstop movement will help build coordination while burning calories.""A lot of people get in the water and just float around, which doesn't burn a ton of calories," says Gunnar Peterson, CSCS, personal trainer based in Beverly Hills, CA. "To increase your intensity level, turn your swim into sets: First, take ten strokes with your arms. Then ten strokes with just your legs. Then ten with your legs and arms." Avoid looking like a pile of driftwood and repeat this pattern for 10 minutes.

Run in the Sand

"With shoes on, running in sand is about 20 percent harder than running on a firm surface," says Schuler. Why only 20 percent when we said volleyball was twice as hard? Schuler is assuming you're running with shoes, which increases the elasticity. Also, when you're running, your feet spend less time in contact with the sand and have less time to sink in and cause resistance. "The natural reaction to any force striking the body is muscle contraction," says Peterson. "Factor in the instability of the board and you're core muscles are getting a major workout." How major? Since surfing works the shoulders, legs and core, and challenges your body, you're getting a lot out of it in terms of efficiency.

Sun exposure provides us with a significant amount of our vitamin D needs but it can also rob us of our hydration, often before you're even aware of it. Dehydration is the number one concern doctors have when their patients are in the sun all day. "Be sure to drink plenty of water and other lowsugar beverages," says Marissa Beale, a registered dietician in Hampton Roads, Virginia. "Also, avoid alcohol, which is a diuretic and may dehydrate you instead of quenching you thirst."

Instead of loading up on highlyprocessed foods, add to your vitamin intake with nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables like strawberries (vitamin C), carrots (vitamin A), sunflower seeds (vitamin E) and broccoli (folate). Beale suggests throwing in some hummus for dipping and added protein and flavor. "And lowfat dairy products such as yogurt and cheese are rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus," Beale says.

Staying active on the beach all day, you may get preoccupied and forget to eat for an extended period of time, leaving you ravenous. Help cut hunger off at the path by eating a healthy breakfast in the morning. Instead of eating only carbohydrates, like toast or a bagel, try scrambled eggs, wholewheat toast, a glass of skim milk and a serving of fresh fruit. "Eating a variety of foods from different food groups provides increased vitamins and minerals and you won't be hungry as quickly later," Beale says.

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