Last Updated on December 16, 2022
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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