Getting active by the sea

Healthy Living > Physical health > Getting active by the sea

Blog Article | By Simplyhealth | 13 August 2021

Articled review on 22/7/2022

Family playing with a beach ball on the sand in the sunshine

We’re not sure there’s anything better than a family trip to the beach. Think sand between your toes, splashing in the waves, and maybe even fish and chips at the end of the day (though watch the seagulls don’t get them before you do!). It’s also a great way to get the whole family active!

The beach is an ideal place to get you moving, from swimming in the sea to playing in the sand, or walking on the prom – there’s something for everyone. And so many ways to get your heart pumping, while having fun! 

Games for everyone

Just bringing a ball to the beach is a great start. There are plenty of games to be had including throwing and catching in the water (just make sure the ball floats!).

In fact, anything you can play with in the sea, or on the beach is great: a soft frisbee is fun in the water, or on the sand.

While throwing around a ball is a great start you could go to the next level and bring a bat and soft ball. How many times can you hit the ball between yourselves without dropping it? Or try seeing who can bounce the ball the most times with the bat. Both games are great for hand eye coordination, and lots of fun for all ages.

If you have a little more space (and a larger group of people) you could set up a mini rounders game, or beach cricket. 

Man and child playing frisbee in the waves at the beach

And don’t forget that anything (and we mean anything!) can be made into a fun family competition…who can throw the most stones into a bucket, who can swim fastest, who can hit a ball furthest (as long as there’s someone who’s willing to play fetch!). You could even set up a beach Olympics competition, with heats and scores given for each event.

If we’ve piqued your interest, read on for some of our top tips for a fun family beach day (including a handy list of what to bring to make your life easier).

Family looking into buckets on a beach

Our top tips

Here are a few top tips, tried and tested by Simplyhealth parents, to make your visit to the beach as easy as possible.

1. Pack light

No-one wants to spend hours lugging everything from the car park to the beach (easier said than done, but see below for some of our essential must-brings).

2. Get everything ready the night before

That way you can just concentrate on getting you and the kids out of the door.

3. Get to the beach early

This way you can have your pick of the best spots on the beach (if you think your kids are likely to spend a lot of time in the water, then near the water is good – but don’t forgot to check the tide times).

4. Stake out your ‘zone’ with enough space

By having a large beach mat or picnic rug, you’ll all have somewhere to come back to, and enough space to stretch out.

Family looking down over sweeping beach coastline

What to bring

Apart from the obvious like sunscreen, sunglasses, protective clothing, swimming costumes, towels and some water to drink – there are a few other essentials you can bring along that will help you all to have a brilliant day:

  • A bucket and spade for sandcastle building and beach ‘treasure’ collecting 
  • A pop-up sun tent (with UV protection) – great for younger kids to have a nap in, or for anyone who needs to get out of the sun for a while (and if you don’t have one then an umbrella is useful to provide a bit of shade)
  • Some spare plastic bags – essential for carrying home all the wet swimming costumes at the end of the day, but also good for storing all the beach treasures that the kids will inevitably find and for putting any rubbish in, so you don’t end up chasing after it if the wind picks up!
  • Beach shoes – particularly useful for protecting little toes on pebbly beaches
  • Talcum powder – invaluable for helping to clean sandy hands before you tuck into your picnic (just sprinkle it on, and then rub off with a spare towel – the sand falls off like magic!)
  • Loose change for the inevitable ice-cream
  • And finally…snacks…lots of snacks