Last Updated on December 27, 2023

Walking on soft sand has numerous health benefits, as it improves blood flow, releases endorphins and reduces stress, giving a sense of calm and offering a relaxing effect.

Moreover, beach walking also makes for a great cardio workout and more efficient at burning calories than regular walking, and thus a great tool for weight loss.

Whether on an adventure trekking in the desert or simply having a stroll at the beach, there are many reasons to go sand walking.

Sand walking health benefits and fitness facts
A day at the beach with your family can be fun but also improve your health.

Health benefits of walking on sand

Walking on sand has a range of health benefits that can contribute positively to both your physical and mental well-being:

Helps stimulate blood circulation

The action of water on the legs facilitates the rise of the blood to the heart, improving circulation and oxygenation of the blood itself.

In addition, the foot without the shoe is free to move in a natural and unconstrained, thus perfecting the balance.

Improves your mood

Walking with the sound of the sea helps to clear the mind of thoughts, reduces stress, relieves tension and relaxes.

The rhythmic sound of the waves and the soothing sensation of sand beneath your feet have a calming effect on the mind, promoting a sense of peace and tranquility.

Enhanced intake of vitamin D

During the walk you are exposed to the sun’s rays and our body needs this vitamin, which is essential for strengthening bones.

By walking on the sand and enjoying the sunshine, you can increase your vitamin D levels naturally, supporting bone health and potentially reducing the risk of conditions like osteoporosis.

Tones your legs and helps reduce cellulitis in women

Walking barefoot in the sand helps to reactivate, tone, strengthen the muscles of the legs and relieves the sense of fatigue and heaviness.

The uneven and soft surface of the sand requires additional effort from the leg muscles to maintain stability and balance.

As a result, regular sand walking can contribute to stronger and more toned legs. Additionally, the massaging effect of the sand can help improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, potentially reducing the appearance of cellulite in women.

Natural foot scrub

Wet sand works as a natural scrub that helps eliminate dead skin cells and can effectively work as a free beauty treatment for your feet.

This natural foot scrub is not only a refreshing sensation but can also improve the overall appearance and health of your feet.

It’s like receiving a free beauty treatment while enjoying a leisurely stroll along the beach.

Calories burned

Walking on sand burns about 600 calories per hour, compared to the 210 to 360 calories burned by “regular” walking on flat surfaces.

The higher amount of calories consumed is due to the fact that walking on the beach requires a more intense effort, since your feet will start sinking in soft sand with every step you take, and you’ll have to “climb” back to the surface.

If you live close to a beach, you’ll find beach walking to be an excellent workout, and it can be worth to make it a habit to train early in the morning, so that you can avoid both the beach-goers crowd and summer heat during peak hours.

To make the most out of your training at the beach:

  • Move your arms and hands while walking on the sand: this will facilitate blood circulation.
  • Hit the beach in the early morning or late afternoon and avoid noon when sun is the strongest. Wear strong sunscreen and make sure to stay well hydrated, in order to avoid a possible sunburn or, in the worst cases, a sunstroke. It is also important to protect yourself with a sun hat and pair of sunglasses during the summer.
  • Both dry soft sand and wet sand are good for walking, but you may find that it’s easier to walk on wet sand for the surface is more compact. If you are going barefoot, you may also want to avoid dry and as it can get very hot in the summer.
  • Wear shoes best fit for sand. If it’s too cold to be barefoot or simply want to wear shoes, there are options that will work best in sand and improve your performance.
Walking barefoot on wet sand at the beach
Barefoot walking at the beach helps strenghten your feet

Can walking barefoot on sand help you correct foot problems?

If you have kids, let them walk around barefoot at the beach.

The shape of the foot matures from fetal life and continues until 12-13 years of age, while the ability to adapt to the ground on which it rests is perfected over time.

That’s why walking barefoot in the sand helps your child’s development and prevent foot problems when they grow up.

In adults, sand walking can also be beneficial as it helps streghten muscles in your feet.

That said, there is no scientific evidence supporting the claim that barefoot walking on sand helps correct flat feet or arch problems.

Barefoot runners and beach walking enthusiasts swear by the psychological and physical health benefits of having your feet get used to different kinds of surfaces, connect with the ground (“earthing”), and let your soles breathe as often as possible.

While many of these benefits are certainly true for some people, if you already suffer from foot problems you are unlikely to be able to fix them just by being barefoot.

On the bright side, there isn’t really any negative effect of walking barefoot on the beach for your health, so feel free to ditch shoes if you feel like it.

Read also: Desert Running Guide

Walking on Sand FAQs

Is walking on sand a good form of exercise?

Walking on sand is an excellent form of exercise. It engages more muscles compared to walking on a flat surface like pavement or a treadmill.

The unstable surface of sand requires greater effort to maintain balance, which helps strengthen your legs, core, and ankles.

Moreover, walking on sand provides resistance, making it a low-impact but effective workout for burning calories and toning your lower body.

What are the health benefits of walking on sand?

Walking on sand offers several health benefits. It helps improve cardiovascular fitness by increasing your heart rate and providing a good aerobic workout.

The uneven surface of sand also activates the smaller stabilizing muscles in your feet and legs, which can enhance overall balance and stability.

In addition, walking on sand can provide stress relief, as being in natural environments has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve mood.

It can also be a great way to strengthen your feet and improve foot arches.

How many calories can I burn by walking on sand?

The number of calories burned while walking on sand depends on various factors such as your body weight, walking speed, and the intensity of the activity.

On average, a person weighing around 150 pounds can burn approximately 150-200 calories per 30 minutes of walking on sand.

Keep in mind that walking on soft sand requires more effort and burns more calories compared to walking on firm sand.

To increase the calorie burn, you can try walking on sand dunes or inclines.

Is walking on sand suitable for everyone?

Walking on sand can be enjoyed by people of different fitness levels, but it may not be suitable for everyone.

If you have existing joint or muscle issues, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider before starting a sand walking routine.

Furthermore, individuals with balance problems or stability issues should exercise caution while walking on sand, as the uneven surface may increase the risk of falls.

It’s important to start slowly and gradually increase your walking distance and intensity.

Should I wear special shoes for walking on sand?

While it’s not necessary to wear special shoes for walking on sand, choosing appropriate footwear can enhance your comfort and reduce the risk of foot-related problems.

Opt for shoes that provide good arch support, cushioning, and have a sole that can grip the sand.

Alternatively, some people prefer walking barefoot on sand, as it allows the foot muscles to work more naturally.

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