- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The Great Things About the Beach
Today was one of those special days. It just could not have been more beautiful with the green hills, wild flowers popping out, and temperatures in the high seventies to eighties. I had to go to Santa Barbara to do some errands and I decided to do a run on the beach while I was there.
Anyone who lives in this area is lucky. We have access to the mountains, the valleys, and the beaches. Such a variety of beauty. But today I chose to enjoy the beach.
I went to East Beach where I can run a little over three miles in the sand. I do not run on the wet sand, but choose the deeper dry sand to get a more intense run. After donning my socks, ankle supports, water shoes, and sun block, I did a five minute warm up stretch to prepare my legs, and ankles for the sand.
When you do deep sand running your stride is more of a prance with a knee up motion. It is important to keep your ankles steady and avoid twisting them. Water shoes allow for more flexibility during the run.
I made my way down the beach listening to music on my I Pod. Music helps to motivate me when the running gets tough.
People lined the beach with colorful umbrellas and coolers full of food. The seagulls flew and landed in groups near the water. Children were digging in the sand while their dogs barked at the surf. What a pleasure it is to exercise in this environment.
Sand running is a great workout burning around 600 to 700 calories per hour. It will also define your calf's, quads, and hamstrings, to perfection.
After my run I drove up the coast to a beach that I had spent much of my childhood summers on. I took a walk down the nature path and onto the beach to watch the surfers, pelicans, and dolphins out in the water. The smell of the surf, and sounds of the waves were calming and relaxing. It was blissful.
The beach is a great place to exercise, relax, meditate, and connect with nature. If you do not have the luxury of living near a beach, you can always visit one during your meditation. Just close your eyes and visualize the sounds, smells, and feelings of that ocean experience. You can transport your self there anytime you want during a meditation. What a gift!
I was very thankful for today. It was one of those perfect days where I was in the moment and grateful to be there. It was a vacation from any stress and worries that I might otherwise be preoccupied with. I highly recommend a day at the beach, whether it is actual or in a visual meditation, it will soothe your soul!