Running on the Beach
Many of us have already made plans to head to the beach at some point this summer. Don’t fret about getting your daily run in on your hotel’s treadmill; not when you have a beautiful beach to run on! Running at the beach can be fun and it’s a great way to burn calories and strengthen your legs.
Running on sand at the beach can be very relaxing. The scenery, the sounds of the ocean, the smell of the salt water are all soothing and can help to make your run more enjoyable. Your body has to work harder to make headway distance-wise when you run on dry sand because the sand absorbs a lot of the shock from the impact of your feet. Some prefer to run on the wet sand which is easier and more firm. The wet sand is good for beginners to acclimate your body to how the sand feels. It’s a good idea to slowly increase your run time on the sand a little at a time until you’re used to it. Running on wet sand also makes spotting and avoiding foreign objects easier when running along the beach. Wet or dry, running in the sand can help to strengthen your lower leg muscles and allows your feet to move in their natural range of motion, therefore increasing your coordination.
Now, as to whether or not one should go barefoot or not, I leave that up to you. If you’re at a relatively clean beach, why not throw caution to the wind and give running without your shoes a try? It’s liberating. Sand can cause blisters when it gets into your shoes, and I’m not a fan of that. Running in the sand gives the hip flexors, calf muscles and the muscles in your feet quite a workout. Since the sand gives way, there is less resistance for your feet to push off of, meaning running is more work, but you’re also burning more calories- in fact, a little over one and half more calories than running on pavement. Due to the lower resistance and impact, it’s also easier on those suffering from joint problems. It’s good to change the surface you run on from time to time.
Most importantly, be sure to stretch after warming up, watch for sharp, metal, or glass objects in the sand to prevent injury if you are running barefoot, and don’t forget the sunscreen! Enjoy your run!
Cooper, Bob. True Grit: For a workout that’ll strengthen your legs and incinerate calories, hit the beach.
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Hardman, Michael. Hit the Beach and get Fit- The Many Benefits of Running on Sand. Suite101.com. 25
Apr. 2010. 28 Jun. 2011. [http://www.suite101.com/content/hit-the-beach-and-get-fit-the-many-benefits-of-running-on-sand-a229694].
Holt, Betty. What are the Benefits of Running on Wet Sand? Livestrong.com. 14 Jun. 2011. 28 Jun. 2011.