4 Ways to Work Out Like a Beach Lifeguard

The movies might sometimes make it seem like the only skills you need to be a beach lifeguard are swimming and running in slow motion, but in actuality, lifeguards need to be ready for anything — from saving someone caught in a riptide to resuscitating someone having a heart attack on the sand. And you better believe their workouts are as demanding as any athlete’s.

We know because we talked to Jenna Parker, 33, a surf-lifesaver for Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Not only does she spend her summer days watching the waves for changing tides or swimmers in trouble, she also trains intensely for lifeguard competitions. These events pit lifeguards against each other to see who’s fastest at swimming, running, rowing and paddling — crucial activities they use to save lives.

Even if you never intend to don a whistle, floatation device and (striking red) swimsuit, working out like a beach lifeguard could bring your fitness to the next level. Here’s what we learned from Parker’s fitness routine — and what you should keep in mind when getting your sweat on.

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Parker basically works out all day. She wakes up at 6:30 for an hour-long session of swim drills, typically in a pool, but sometimes in the ocean. Then, it’s time for a run, paddle, surfski or row. After breakfast, she heads to the beach where she organizes paddle practice or mini-Ironmans (run-swim-paddle-row races) for the patrol. Post-work, she does another run or Ironman-type workout with patrol captain Randy Townsend.

Train Like a Lifeguard: Let’s be honest: You’re not going to work out four or five hours a day like Parker. For for many of us, committing to even 30 minutes a few days a week is hard enough. But if you want to see results — whether it’s losing weight, gaining muscle or achieving a new PR — you need to put in the time. If it helps, block out workouts on the calendar and think of them like an appointment or work meeting, meaning you cannot cancel.


During the winter, Parker preps for summer competitions by incorporating more plyometric work with a focus on her core. “Having a strong core is incredibly important when rowing, paddling or surfskiing,” she explains. She also does a number of functional training movements to prevent injuries during training and competitions.

Train Like a Lifeguard: Even if you’re a cardio junkie like Parker, you need a balanced regimen of strength training and heart-pumping exercise. Add compound, functional training exercises (like lunges, squats and pushing and pulling motions) to your routine to increase your ability to perform everyday movements and avoid injury. Be sure to work your core, which will benefit you during both exercise and everyday life.


Parker and Townsend became good friends as teens because they found they both loved to push themselves. The two often work out together, and the entire patrol is super supportive. “Everyone motivates each other,” Parker says. “There are very few days I don’t want to work out in the summer because I have Randy and some of the others [doing it with me].”

Train Like a Lifeguard: To increase the chances of sticking with your fitness routine, find your own Randy. A friend or supportive fitness studio not only keeps you accountable, it makes working out more fun. And that will make you more likely to give every second your all.


“One of the things I love about surf-lifesaving is that there is always something more to learn,” Parker says. “The ocean is a constantly changing environment — you’re never going to see the same wave twice. That requires you to constantly learn and adapt, and take the knowledge you have and try to re-apply it to new situations.”

She also does this in her workouts and started surfskiing last summer. “I spent three months getting in, paddling a little bit in flat water and falling out of it,” Parker says. “But by the end of summer, I was able to take the ski in and out in the ocean and paddle through the surf.”

Train Like a Lifeguard: Seek out your thing, no matter how out-of-the-box or intimidating. “There are not many things in life that are so challenging they require you to push yourself beyond your comfort zone,” Parker adds. If you’re looking to challenge yourself in new ways, the key could be just beyond your comfort zone. So go ahead: Finally try CrossFit, sign up for a race or take your first yoga or cardio dance class. You’ll be glad you did.

Written by Brittany Risher, a writer, editor and digital strategist specializing in health and lifestyle content. To stay sane from working too hard, she turns to yoga, strength training, meditation and scotch. Connect with her on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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6 Ways to Burn 100 Calories in 30 Minutes or Less

There’s nothing worse than genuinely wanting to get to the gym but feeling like your schedule is just too packed (or getting derailed by more entertaining pursuits — no judgment). The good news is, racking up a three-digit calorie burn is totally doable with just 30 minutes of effort. While the activities in following list might not take the place of your regular workout, squeezing a little sweat into your day is better than nothing. Many of these moves are easy to make happen on the go or while you’re enjoying the fresh spring weather.

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> Men’s Workout Tops
> Men’s Workout Pants
> Women’s Workout Tops
> Women’s Workout Pants

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Can Grocery Delivery Services Help You Eat Better?

Grocery delivery is an amazing invention: Order your groceries online or through an app on your smartphone and bags of food are delivered to your doorstep, sometimes within an hour of ordering.

Beyond the convenience of streamlining your grocery shopping, when used effectively, grocery delivery services can even help you eat better. Here’s how:


Whether it’s the kiddos begging for snack foods that get tossed into your cart because you don’t want to hear the whining, or you’re hangerly putting food in your cart because everything sounds delicious when you’re ravenous, impulse buys are a reality for most shoppers. Shopping online with your grocery list can curb the thoughtless, often unhealthy, purchases. It is often more purposeful, keeping you on-track with your health goals.


Make a list and shop your list. It’s easier to do when you just type the ingredients into the search bar versus running up and down the aisles looking for them. Grocery delivery can make meal prep easier because of the time savings and organization. Many grocery delivery apps and websites have a function to purchase ingredients from healthy recipes on their site, which makes meal prep so much easier and keeps you organized in your shopping. Shop online so you can spend your time in the kitchen cooking instead of getting burnt out at the grocery store. The convenience of grocery delivery makes meal prep easier so you can eat better.



Shop for groceries in your PJs before bed, on the sofa while browsing Netflix or even on your lunch break. Talk about efficiency! With no trip to the grocery store, you can use that time to fit your workouts into your crazy schedule. If you work a 95 like most of us, you likely shop during the busiest times of the week — Sunday afternoons or after work, which may add stress and take up more time. Take advantage of grocery delivery, say no to fighting the crowds during busy shopping times and improve your health. Exercise is often a motivator for healthy eating, too. After a big sweat sesh, putting nourishing foods in your body is much more rewarding. Eating better and exercising more go hand in hand.


Grocery delivery can help with weight loss, too. Most of the apps and websites allow you to shop from recent purchases and set up lists so you are more focused and disciplined in your buys. People who plan out their meals in advance and predetermine their food choices tend to make smarter decisions and may be more effective at long-term weight loss.


Ready to get started with grocery delivery? Some of the big players in grocery delivery include Instacart, AmazonFresh, FreshDirect, PeaPod and Shipt. Many partner with local grocery stores including Costco, Target, Whole Foods and Publix. Major grocery chains such as Safeway and Walmart also have their own grocery delivery services directly on their websites. If you’re looking for local and organic grocers, specialty options such as Good Eggs and Farmbox support local and organic farms.

Most charge a premium for the service, with delivery fees and/or minimum orders, but for many, the convenience fee is worth it. Many services send promotions for free delivery, coupons and flag sale items, which can help with the bill.

Research the options in your area and try a few out to see which grocery delivery service works best for you.

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20-Minute Zesty Shrimp Lettuce Wraps | Recipe

shrimp lettuce wraps

Make a light and flavorful meal with this lettuce wrap recipe featuring lean shrimp with carrots, bell peppers, black beans and lime juice. Fresh shrimps takes very little time to cook, but you can shave even more time off prep by buying pre-cooked shrimp at the supermarket. Want to heat up your colorful meal? Stir in 1/2 to 1 minced fresh jalapeño.

20-Minute Zesty Shrimp Lettuce Wraps


  • 3/4 pound (340 grams) cooked, peeled and deveined small or medium shrimp
  • 1 large (70 grams) carrot, peeled and shaved with vegetable peeler or grated
  • 1 small (75 grams) yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) rinsed and drained no-salt-added canned black beans (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 cup (5 grams) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 to 24 large (180 to 360 grams) Boston or butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry*


Combine all ingredients except lettuce in a medium bowl. (Mixture may be chilled until ready to serve.) Spoon 1/3 cup shrimp salad into each lettuce leaf. Serve immediately.

* If lettuce leaves are small, stack two together before filling.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 3 filled lettuce wraps

Per serving: Calories: 130; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 115mg; Sodium: 436mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 15g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 344mg; Iron: 4%; Vitamin A: 65%; Vitamin C: 28%; Calcium: 7% 

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