Keeping Fit While Having Fun on Exotic White Sands in Mombasa, Kenya.

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Loving your life involves being able to make a living while enjoying your life to the fullest in a romantic destination. It also involves finding the right blend of culture, weather and neighbours. For most travelers that dream is only a few hundred Kilometers. In the recent past I have had views from some of my readers pointing in the direction that those who love traveling, forgetting keeping fit. It’s that view that I found disturbing, a lot of people, when they move out of their normal life, even for a short holiday, all the gym schedule and eating habits are disrupted.  It is in this context that I found my mind wondering as I sunbathed on the beautiful shores of the Indian Ocean at Diani Beach in Mombassa Kenya.

The beach is not a good place to get fit for; it’s a good place to get fit at, sand and sea are a great location for an outdoor workout. And let’s be honest, the fresh air, the smell of the ocean and the feeling of the sun on your back. There’s just nothing else like it. If you are bored of the gym, are looking for a tech free zone, want reconnect with nature, or just need to feel the sand under your feet, take your workout to the beach my friend.

You’ve seen all the celebrities do it. Popularly with the rich and famous, standup paddle-boarding is the most popular outdoor sporting activity people want to try for the first time. A cross between surfing and canoeing, stand up paddle boards are long and wide and can be used on flat water or, if you’re an advanced paddle boarder, in the surf. As the name cleverly suggests, you stand on your board and paddle your way though the water.

A move like standup paddle-boarding requires you develop good balance, core strength and upper body endurance. If you don‘t have your own board you can rent one along the beach, and be sure to take a few lessons. The quicker you get the hang of it, the more enjoyable you’ll find it and the better your workout. Beach run are tough but sand dune sprints are insane. The steep incline combined with the constantly shifting sand means that it seriously works your legs and burns a crazy amount of calories, as you power up to the top. Sand dune sprints will leave your legs a quivering mass of fire, your heart pumping and lungs heaving.

You don’t need gym equipment to have an amazing workout. In fact, all you need is your body and some space exactly what you have when you head off to the beach. Simply mark out a big circle, place ten rocks around the edge at equal intervals and then assign an exercise to each rock. Pushups, lunges, sit-ups, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, burpees  and any other move that requires no equipment goes.

Surfers are hot. Don’t miss the point here; it must be a massively effective way of burning some serious calories. Surfing requires and develops great upper body strength as you paddle out through the waves, as well as good balance and coordination as you ride back in. As a workout, surfing is not unlike interval training, because you work hard to get out into the waves and then rest as you wait for the perfect wave to take you back to shore. If full-on surfing is not your thing, consider body boarding as an easier, equally beneficial alternative.

Canoeing and kayaking. If you prefer being on the water rather than in it, try canoeing or kayaking. Both target the core and upper body. Though it might seems like your arms are doing all the paddling, your core works very hard too. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own canoe or kayak, lots of beaches and beach stores offer rentals. Make sure you wear a life preserver. As with all outdoor water activities, consider the weather before heading out.

Finally the beach volley ball is a great way to socialise and keep in shape. Again, super hot players and hot. Explosive, fast and fun, beach volleyball is a freakishly good workout disguised as a game. Involving lots of jumping, brief sprints and dives, beach volleyball will not only improve your fitness and endurance but also your agility, speed and coordination. Before you leave the beach remember to do what is ultimate, be a fish and swim. Whether you choose to gear up with fins and snorkel to check out the sea life or just your goggles to swim across the bay, swimming is great exercise. Remember that the sea is nature’s pool. It’s subject to the weather, tides and wildlife. So keep safe and take note of any prevalent winds and tides and follow the instructions of lifeguards.

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