In this video we’ve come to one of our favorite places to workout. It’s one of our favorite because it’s outdoors and it’s a place where we can do safe, low impact cardio and lifting exercise.
That said, this video is not so much about instructing people how to do specific exercises. It’s more to inspire you to think outside the box to overcome whatever your challenges with exericise may be.
That can be as physically serious as a debilitating condition or injury. Or, just as significantly, a short attention span or low boredom threshhold (like me) that keeps you starting and stopping your exercise without making significant progress. No matter what the reason, continual delays and excuses, legitimate or not will keep you from gaining the strength, mobility and fitness level to achieve the things you want to do.
As you watch the video, remember, there’s a way for you to get your exercise done to gain your mobility, your strength and the fitness that you desire.
Another quick factor to keep in mind. Your health and quality of life depend on it.
Safe and low impact don’t mean low intensity or ineffective. Here’s what to remember as you read this. It is not specific as to exercises. It is a broad overview.
Don’t think in terms of what you “have to do” as far as the intensity of, or weight used in any of the clips or written content below. You make the workout based on what you know about your physical condition and what your goals are.
Working out in sand for safe, low impact exercises.
We work out in large expanses of sand just off the banks of the Arkansas river. Workouts on sand are particularly good for people who have problems with impact, whether from injury or physical conditions that affect particularly lower body joints, hips, knees, ankles and feet.
If that’s the case with you, sand is the perfect platform to work out on. For many people, it is virtually impossible to work out on solid ground. Finding an area of sand can, through softened impact, allow people who haven’t exercised in years to develop full, effective workout routines.
If you have lower body joint, inflammation, or other conditions, finding an area of sand will likely allow you to work out. You can run, lift, and do all manner of movements. When your feet hit the sand, they sink down into the sand dramatically reducing the impact.
The added benefit is that it dramatically works your legs to a much greater degree than running, lifting or moving around on solid ground.
You may not live by a beach to work out on. We don’t either. We live near the Arkansas River. If you live anywhere near a large or medium size river, you likely have some large areas of sand near you. Or if you live near a large, recreational lake there are likely sand swimming beaches where you can work out and do calisthenics on.
Hill Running In Sand
If you can find sand hills to run on, you can perform a leg and cardio workout unequaled by many other activities. Running up sand hills with your feet sinking into the surface works your legs 2-3 times harder than running uphill on a solid surface.
If your physical condition is good, add weight by carrying a rock up those hills. The effect on your legs is unbelievable. Plus carrying the rock works your arms dramatically.
Alternately, for a modest price you can purchase a weight vest like Jacquilyn has on in the video. Wearing that during a workout on sand adds effort and consequently value to the whole workout.
This type leg/cardio workout can be done without pain to your lower back or legs. When the video was taken, I was dealing with knee pain from a recent injury. As can be seen, I could walk, run, carry a rock up the sand hill. I could also have fun jumping back down off of it.
All with no joint pain or worry about injury.
And it’s fun …… like playing in a giant sandbox.
Jogging on sand for a low impact cardio workout
In the video you see my daughter jogging on a long, flat expanse of sand and gravel. She was wearing a 15 pound weight vest under her jacket.
You can run on sand, even with added weight, without the concern for injury and damage to joints caused by running on a solid surface. And again, the sand adds considerable work to the entire length of your legs.
Lifting exercises on the sand
It’s unique doing lifts outdoors without equipment. Instead you lift rocks, logs, anything with some weight. In our case it’s rocks.
You can use any size rock and lift in any way necessary to achieve your fitness goals. They can be lifted overhead, out to the side in shoulder flyes, or moved in a circular motion to maintain or restore mobility to your shoulders.
You can get a full weight workout outdoors that is only limited by your imagination.
Finding piles of rocks or wood, you can do pushups from just about any position. You can work your chest, shoulders, and arms with nothing more than what is lying on the ground.
You can change the position of your hands and incline to provide a comprehensive chest workout. All without a gym.
For a back and leg workout, rocks or logs will provide an effective workout. You can do bent rows for your upper back development and for lower back strength.
You can hold a rock at chest level and do squats or lunges for upper leg strength.
Do the bent rows combined with a deadlift movement to work your entire back, hips and thighs. Adding a jerk and lift overhead, you have performed a clean and jerk with a rock working legs, back and shoulders for raw strength.
Again, only limited by your imagination.
Hopefully this article and video inspires you to think past any hindrance you may have to exercise. Working out in interesting environments that are both entertaining and provide effective exercise opportunities can be the answer to working out consistently.
Working out on sand, running and lifting, is one such environment that you can add to your arsenal of life giving exercise.
A final word: You may have watched the video and thought that you can’t possibly run up a hill, lift a rock or jog like that.
You don’t have to .
This is about an opportunity to add a place and way to workout that can help you get past injuries and debilitating conditions. It is about giving you incentive if you have a problem getting to your exercise.
What you lift, how you move and how much you do is up to you.
Think about it. Find the sand.
Then begin to do what you can to improve or restore your mobility, strength and physical ability.
Oh ….. and have a little fun doing it.