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In Shape on a Shoestring: Staying in Shape on Your Summer Getaway

June 12, 2024

We have all been aware of the fitness craze sweeping across Egypt’s popular summer destinations. From the glitzy beach fitness clubs of the North Coast to the trendy hubs of El Gouna, fitness centers and CrossFit gyms have been popping up, offering the latest workout crazes. 

However, with membership fees that can quickly add up, accessing these facilities may not be a viable option for many travelers on a budget.

Fortunately, fitness coach Mohamed Abdel-Latif shares some insightful tips that can help you stay in shape without breaking the bank,

“It all depends on your fitness level and your goals,” Abdel-Latif explains to Egyptian Streets. “In fitness, setting a goal can be the first step towards success, staying fit, and healthy.”

One of Abdel-Latif’s go-to recommendations is the humble yet effective beach workout. “Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks are great on the beach,” he says. “The sand provides an unstable surface that engages your core more, giving you an added challenge.”

According to research published in the Physiology and Behavior peer-reviewed journal by Elsevier, body weight training exercises were proven to help build more muscle. 

To gain such insights, researchers looked at the effects of 10 weeks of body-weight exercises on a small group of young women; they found improvements in seven out of nine of the parameters. The biggest gains were in aerobic capacity, with a 33 percent improvement. Muscle endurance, particularly in the core, increased by 11 percent, while lower-body power posted a six percent gain. 

However, the benefits of beach workouts do not stop there. Abdel-Latif also highlights the unique advantages of beach running. “Running on the sand requires more effort than running on a hard surface, so expect to go slower and burn more calories,” he notes. 

“The soft, uneven sand provides a good lower body workout, engaging your calf, ankle, and foot muscles more than running on pavement.” 

A  2013 study conducted by Martyn Binnie, Brian Dawson, Grant Landers, and Hugh C. Pinnington shows that training on sand surfaces can limit muscle damage, and muscle soreness, while increasing performance intensity. Therefore, using a sand training surface may allow greater training adaptations to be achieved, while reducing injuries that may arise from heavy training. 

To make the most of beach workouts, Abdel-Latif suggests starting with short distances and gradually building up your endurance. “Vary your stride and foot strike to hit different muscle groups — try running with a shorter, quicker stride as well as long, loping strides,” he advises. “And be mindful of the tide, running when the sand is more compact, either at low tide or on the wet sand closer to the water’s edge,” he adds.

Beyond the obvious beach-based exercises, Abdel-Latif encourages travelers to think outside the box. “Try beach sprints — sprint for 30-60 seconds, then walk/jog back to the start,” he suggests. “You can also do walking lunges up and down the beach, or use a sturdy log or rock for strength training exercises like rows, bicep curls, and shoulder presses.”

For those craving a more holistic approach, Abdel-Latif recommends incorporating beach yoga into the routine. “Go for a beach yoga session, using the sand and waves as your backdrop,” he says. “It’s a great way to engage your mind and body while enjoying the stunning natural surroundings.”

The key, according to Abdel-Latif, is to embrace the versatility of your summer destination and get creative with the workouts. “Fitness should be accessible and easy for everyone to join,” he emphasizes. “You don’t need to be a member of these expensive fitness hubs to stay in shape and have fun while on vacation.”

So, as you plan your summer getaway across Egypt’s captivating landscapes, remember that staying fit does not have to be costly. With a little ingenuity and Abdel-Latif’s expert guidance, you can embrace the great outdoors and keep your fitness routine going strong.

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