The Top Health Benefits of Playing Beach Volleyball [2020 Update]
by Juan | Jan 16, 2020 | Guide | 12 comments
We all know that playing beach volleyball is a lot of fun and brings likeminded people together. If you play volleyball, beach volleyball will also help you to develop and improve your core technical skills. Volleyball legend Karch Kiraly once said:
“It’s easier to take your outdoor skills in to the gym than to bring your indoor skills outside. Simple reason. Beach volleyball forces you to have all the skills. That’s why I think it’s a good idea for indoor players to play on the beach…Learning those skills can only help improve a player’s indoor performance. All my years playing on the beach as a kid certainly helped my indoor game.”
But did you also know that beach volleyball has a multitude of major health benefits? Several studies reveal that beach volleyball is a great sport for staying healthy and in shape. Here are the top health benefits playing volleyball at the beach. They refer to the areas of cardio, fitness, coordination, disease prevention and social skills.
One hour of beach volleyball burns around 600 calories
First of all, beach volleyball is a great cardiovascular exercise. It burns calories and fat while you are having fun. Based on a Harvard study, beach volleyball burns as many calories as running at 5mph or playing basketball. One hour of playing beach volleyball can burn around 600 calories. This is far ahead of activities such as tennis, swimming, kayaking or yoga. Therefore, it is a great activity for burning fat and losing weight.
Playing on sand is great for your overall fitness level
Since beach volleyball is played on sand, it is way more effective in fitness terms than other activities. It improves muscle tone because the resistance created by the sand forces the legs to work up to 2,5x harder than on a normal surface (e.g. asphalt). Playing on sand results in an increased heart rate and exertion. Leg muscles are strengthened, and agility is increased. Ankles and foot muscles are activated. Moreover, playing barefoot improves body posture because the body works in its natural form. Since the surface is shifting, players must re-calibrate their balance. This improves their body control and stability.
Beach volleyball boosts concentration and coordination
Beach volleyball involves lots of hand movements that require attention to the movement of the ball. This is true especially when performing serves, hits or blocks. Those actions need hand-eye coordination. Acquiring this skill through beach volleyball has significant positive health benefits, prevents injury and boosts concentration.
Reduced risk of heart diseases and diabetes
Playing beach volleyball does also reduce the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. A beach volleyball workout supports the intake of healthy nutrients. If it is paired with rest and recovery, beach volleyball prevents nutrient deficiencies linked to many heart diseases. Moreover, the high-intensity beach volleyball workouts increase immunity towards heart attacks. Studies do also show that playing volleyball reduces cholesterol which positively impacts cardiovascular health. The volleyball workouts do also reduce cortisol levels and increase the production of endorphins in the body. Both facts do enhance weight loss and protect the immune system. The reduced body fat does also minimize the risk of diabetes.
Playing in a team boosts self-confidence and teaches sportmanship
Finally, beach volleyball has several social and mental aspects as well. So how does volleyball help you mentally? Studies say that it furthers your development of interpersonal skills through teamwork, communication, social interaction and respect for the other player. Hence, healthy relationships can be created. The acquired social skills, the feeling of being part of a team and the physical exercise will also make one feel good about themselves and boost self-confidence. Finally, beach volleyball is great to foster sportsmanship which translates into a behavior accepting the rules of the game and the idea of fair play.
Numerous studies are supporting beach volleyball’s impressive health benefits. Get out, take advantage and start today! If you don’t know how, check out our 4-week beach volleyball training program!
Great article. Beach volleyball is a fun sport to play when going to the beach or competitively. What I learned from my time in the military, as beach exercising was something we did around once a week, is that playing or exercising in the sand helps utilize more muscles for stability and increases in speed. That, in turn, helped our running as we developed more muscle to help with the resistance. It is true with the increased cardio that comes with playing and exercising in the sand, as it requires more energy and oxygen to the muscles to help counter the increased resistance.
Do you think that any form of exercise in the sand at the beach would have better health benefits vice the gym or other sports that don’t have as much resistance?
Thanks for your great comment. Regarding your question, it is clear that some forms of exercise can just not be performed at the beach (e.g. skiing). For most of the others, increased resistance might be beneficial in terms of training effects. I just don’t want to generalize beyond beach volleyball 😉
Although I haven’t tried playing on the beach, this sure is an inspiration to try it. I agree with you that greater energy is required to participate in it considering that one needs to overcome the resistance of the sand on the beach. I could barely imaging the exertion necessary to excel on the beach but then, the human body learns to adapt to things if consistently trained.
Thanks for your thoughts, I totally agree. It is finally a question of making the move, put in the work, do the repetitions and finally excel at the beach.
Great article!! Beach volleyball is one of my favorite seaside activities. I played regular volleyball competitively growing up so I know how different it is to play on the sand. Thanks for the read!
Great you enjoyed the read!
I think beach volley is a good alternative for my zumba. Not only that it is a good cardio exercise, it is also a fun way of losing those extra baggage in our body, and at the same time strengthens your legs and foot.
It’s almost an all-in-one workout .You exercise the physical aspect of the body, your mind gets to work too by keeping focus on the hand to eye coordination – face is not a good way to stop the ball:)
It definitely is. And unlike many individual workouts, it does also have a social aspect that gets you involved with others 🙂
I love the idea that playing volleyball is a good form of cardiovascular exercise. It is really hard for me to find the motivation to work out or go for a jog. By finding a volleyball class, I think I can get the exercise I need without it feeling like a chore.
That’s great, Kairi! We actually know a lot of people that have motivational problems with going to the gym or for a run. Playing (beach) volleyball is indeed perfect to get you going and do something for your health 🙂
It’s a great workout when you get invited to play. Being invited can be difficult if your body type doesn’t fit typical beach volleyball expectations. 🙁
Hi Pam, no matter your body type, you can always join a beach volleyball group/meetup and just play. Most of the groups are very welcoming with a lot of nice people. If you need insiration, check out our group directory.