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Family Fun

Active Family Beach Vacations

For most of us, every day of a beach vacation ends with deep, restful sleep. But laying around and reading, texting or tweeting isn’t the way to get there. Sure, the sound of the waves and the sea air can be natural sedatives, but nothing beats good old exercise to bring on a good night’s sleep. Go beyond constructing sandcastles and build in active family fun.

Start with a nice long walk:

Before you get too settled in, walk together on the soft sand. Bring along shoes in case the hot sand gets to be too much for the little ones – or for you. Walking in the sand tones your calves and strengthens your toes too. Take along a watch and walk 15 – 30 minutes one way, then turn around and go back. You’ll be amazed at what you see and how much fun you’ll all have together. Teens, a walk on the beach is a great way to have a little alone time!

Don’t just stand there:
Actually swim in the water – don’t just bob, float or paddle. Be sure you’re swimming in safe waters, patrolled by lifeguards, and that anyone who’s not a strong swimmer is being watched. Swimming is a full-body workout that’s even tougher in natural currents. Consider giving everyone goggles to protect the eyes from the discomfort of saltwater and encourage longer swim times.

Toss about:
Frisbees and balls are ideal beach toys that combine aerobic exercise with arm, leg and core toning. Divide into teams and play a game, or just toss round-robin style. Teens: This is your opportunity to organize everyone for an ongoing tournament.

Do some gaming:
No, not the electronic kind – the old fashioned kind. Set up a badminton “court” on the beach, play kickball or soccer, or play Twister.

Floor exercises:
Do some yoga stretches on your beach towels. Teens: How about a friendly push-up or crunch competition with your parents?

Try something new:
Rent bicycles or kayaks for the whole family one day, then take a surfing class the next. Make as many moments moving moments of active fun!

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