Hit the beach
Get creative — and social — with your beach workout by joining a group program to take the fun up a notch.
Whether you want to learn a fresh sports skill, meet new people or are merely chasing an excuse to take in WA’s beautiful coastline, these exercises may be just what you’re after.
A great alternative to its hardcourt counterpart, beach volleyball is easy on the joints and has a huge focus on social interaction.
“It’s very low impact — in the same way as many water sports, there is virtually no impact on the knees, ankles or back, ” says Chana Ongwaranon, sports centre manager at Sand Sports Australia.
“Even when you’re 50-55 and have mastered the skills, you can keep playing at the high level — it prolongs it because jumping in the sand, although harder, is better for your body.”
Mr Ongwaranon says the social side of beach volleyball is a major reason their clients come back season after season. “We offer a fun, social environment — some coaching, some training but mostly it’s just for fun, ” he says.
“You can have a beer, hang out, chat and enjoy the sun. The culture and tradition behind it really make the sport what it is.”
Contact: sandsportsoz.com for more information.
Stand-up paddleboarding is a fast-growing water sport — and with good reason. It’s versatile, inclusive, oozing with health benefits and has one of the best views around.
“It’s highly accessible by people of all ages — from the young kids learning about balance to the more mature people past taking up surfing or waterskiing, ” says Yorick Hardy, retail manager at Stand Up Paddle Sports.
The health benefits aren’t bad either.
“It provides a great cardio workout plus working on your stability, ” Mr Hardy says.
“It’s a sport that builds muscle as well as endurance, making it a great blend between aerobic and strength training.”
Mr Hardy says the stress relief that comes with this sport is one of the major benefits.
“Being out on your board after a hectic day is a great way to unwind and maintain lower stress levels, ” he says.
Contact: standuppaddlesports.com.au for more information.
Swimming laps along our salty shores is a great way to exercise in WA.
There are events and competitive opportunities for ocean swimming but the sport takes proper preparation and confidence.
“It’s long known that salt water is considered a really good rehabilitation tool — plus the ocean is invigorating, ” says Carolyn Morrison, performance and development manager at Swimming WA.
“It’s important to recognise first and foremost where it’s a safe place to swim and always follow lifeguard instructions.”
Ms Morrison recommends joining a swimming club or squad at your local swimming facility to prepare your technique for the ocean.
“Squads will give you specific tips for swimming in the ocean — and can teach you how to adjust your technique to swim in different conditions, ” she says.
“If there’s a big swell for example, you might swim differently to if it’s really flat.”
Contact: openwaterswimming.com.au for more information about Swimming WA’s new Open Water Series.
© The West Australian
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