Forget admiring those buffed and toned footy player’s bodies from the grandstand… These work out tips will having you kicking (toned) goals before half time!
Mark Capelin is a former Cronulla Sharks NRL footballer and founder of Tribe Social Fitness, so he knows a thing or two about getting into shape. He has trained with the best in the league and gone on to guide a load of mere mortals – transforming them into fit, healthy, energized superstars who have never looked back. And according to Mark, autumn is a great time to take your workout sessions to the beach. No togs required.
Here, Mark reveals five reasons why swapping your indoor floor workouts for some sand dune action is the best thing you can do to boost your fitness.
1. It’s More Challenging Than Road Running
Those silky white sands may look as pretty as a picture, but they mean business. “Running on sand is more challenging on your body than the pavement,” explains Mark. “It’s in the same category as hill running, but with less risk for injuries. A great resistance workout, running on sand will help you develop strength endurance through the legs and build your core strength.”
If you’re a newbie, don’t throw in the towel just yet – there is hope (phew!). “If you’re new to a sand dune session, start by selecting a couple of smaller dunes. Put in your best effort to run to the top or run half way and walk the remaining half – it’s all about progression,” Mark suggests. “Then, next session you may aim to run three quarters of the dune and so on, until you make it to the top. You should then advance to a steeper and longer dune.”
2. You’ll Burn More Calories
Still carrying around remnants of last winter’s muffin top? The dunes will prune it back for you! “A workout on soft sand can help you burn calories,” Mark says reassuringly. “Running on loose, dry sand takes more energy than running on grass or an even solid surfaces like the track on your daily run. A solid sand dunes session once or twice a week can reap exceptional weight loss and fitness benefits. A 30 minute run at a moderate pace of six miles per hour on the sand will help you burn about 300 calories.”
The best calorie burning exercises? I thought you were going to ask that! “While cardio burns calories and fat when you’re performing it, high intensity strength training allows your metabolism to be elevated after exercise, enabling you to burn fat long after finishing your workout,” explains Mark. “So I’d recommend four cardio sessions per week. This can be a combination or boxing, sprint training, spin or circuit classes and two high quality weight training sessions .” Ready, set, go!
3. It’s Easier On The Body
And you’ve got to love that! “Loose sand lowers impact forces as it absorbs some of the energy from your foot strike,” says Mark. And the benefits of this? “It can help with reducing muscle damage and subsequent soreness. A workout on the sand is ideal for those recovering from muscle injury.”
4. It Increases Your Ability to Build Speed, Strength & Endurance
Sand dunes training is the hat trick of getting fit. Seriously. “Running on a solid surface provides you with a great cardiovascular workout, but sand dune sessions provide you with both a cardiovascular and anaerobic workout,” explains Mark. “This means, your muscles are far more engaged building strength and endurance so that when you hit the pavement your legs are far stronger.” You’ll be ready to take on the world, baby!
5. It Toughens You Mentally
If you feel good physically, it reflects in all areas of your being, we know that. So are you ready to be your best? “A big part of fitness is mindset,” says Mark. “On the physiological side, the best reason to hit the dunes is to build mental toughness. A solid session running the dunes is not for the faint hearted. If you’re training on the sand for the first time, start by doing intervals, so run for 20 seconds and walk for a minute. Each session you do, you should aim to increase your run period and decrease your rest period.
Ready to take your workouts to the sand dunes? Visit Mark and the team at Tribe Social Fitness in Taren Point, New South Wales and grab your free 24 hour pass.