6 Must-Haves for a Healthy Beach Bag

Jul 06, 2013

What’s your vacation destination this summer? Most likely you’ll be hitting the sea shore at some point. And as much as we all love a luxurious beach resort, high-calorie cocktails and tiki bar snacks can quickly derail your fitness train. Stay on track by packing a healthier beach bag.

 Tote these must-haves for a healthy day of sun and sand:

1. Jump rope – Get a burst of cardio while you’re watching the waves crash onto shore. You can achieve the cardiovascular equivalent of a 3-mile run in only 11 minutes of jumping rope.

2. Beach towel – Towels serve double-duty. Use yours as an exercise mat for body-weight exercises (think sit-ups, push-ups, bicycles and donkey kicks). While basking in the sun, do you set a timer to flip over every few minutes? Before you flip, do a set of sit-ups. On the next flip, do a set of push-ups. Keep alternating exercises as you alternate between back and belly.

3. Sunglasses & hat – Cover up while you jog in the sand…barefoot. I recommend staying close to the break where the sand is firmer. But for a real challenge, run in the soft sand. Your leg muscles will have to work much harder to stabilize and push off of a sinking surface.

4. Sunscreen – I don’t have to tell you how important it is to wear sunscreen. It’s a habit you should get into every day. But for the beach, you’ll want to choose one that is water-resistant, rubs in quickly and offers at least 30 SPF.

5. Water bottle - Not only do you need to drink water before, during and after a workout, but sun exposure can also dehydrate you. Fill an insulated water bottle with ice and a low-cal electrolyte mix. Drinking flavored water will also help to curb your cravings for those sweet, frozen cocktails.

6. Pre-portioned snacks – Though you’ll probably eat out several times on vacation, you can make smart choices while you’re on the beach. By packing healthy foods in small snack-sized baggies, you can control calorie consumption.

Jennifer Nicole Lee is an international fitness model, best-selling author and motivational speaker who has appeared on Oprah, CBS The Early ShowInside EditionE! Entertainment and Fox and Friends. She is the author of the The Fun Fit Foodie Cookbook and was named one of the “Three Top Females in the Fitness Industry” of 2011 by Yahoo Sports. Check out her health and fitness tip videos exclusively on the Vitacost Live Wire.