Walking on the beach is a great way to burn calories and fat in a beautiful, relaxing setting. You’ll burn more calories exercising on sand than you will on the road or track.
That’s because your feet sink into the sand, making your muscles work harder to lift out of it on each step. This extra effort translates into extra fat and calories burned. It’s also a great workout for your cardio vascular system.
Sand is softer than hard surfaces like concrete and is therefore easier on your joints. However, there are some risks for injury, so it is important to know all of the facts before walking on the beach.
If you are recovering from a leg or foot injury, do not walk on sand. The uneven surface poses too great a risk for muscle strains or other injuries. Wait until you are completely healed before heading to the beach.
Here are 8 helpful tips to ensure you are successful when walking on the beach.
1. Warm-up/Cool-down A five minute warm-up for walking and cool down afterwards is essential for preventing strains and sprains. Don’t skip these important parts of your fitness routine!
2. Shoes. Wear them! While it’s great to feel the sand between your toes, it’s possible to get blisters on your toes or step on a sharp shell or broken glass. A good pair of walking shoes will keep your feet supported and protected. A pair of trail shoes would also work well.
3. Sand. Loose sand has benefits and drawbacks. The benefit is that it’s more difficult to walk on so you’ll burn more calories because your body will require more energy to lift out of the sand.
The downside is that you have a greater risk of pulling a muscle while walking in loose sand. A good compromise is to spend half your time walking in loose sand and the other half walking on hard-packed sand (closer to the water).
Be sure to begin your warm up on the hard sand and when your muscles feel warm and pliable, move to loose sand for a few minutes. Then switch back to the hard sand. Avoid walking on rippled sand, which can cause you to lose your balance and pull or strain a muscle or joint.
4. Direction. Beaches have a natural slope to them. This will put strain on one leg more than the other. To compensate for this, spend half your time walking in one direction, then turn around and go in the other direction to avoid over-straining one leg.
5. Frequency. Brisk walking on the beach is a higher-intensity workout than road walking. You’ll notice your breathing will be much heavier and you’ll feel more tired than walking at the same pace on a hard surface. So don’t overdo it. Mix in beach walking into your walking routine two or three times a week.
6. Pace. Keep a brisk pace, but don’t push yourself to walk too quickly. Remember that you’re burning extra calories just by walking on sand so walk at a comfortable pace to keep your balance and avoid injury.
7. Protection. Always wear sunscreen and consider wearing a hat as well. Even if it is cloudy at the beach, the suns rays can be very damaging. Bring a light-weight jacket to keep you dry and warm.
8. Stretch. Spend ten minutes doing cool-down walking stretches to keep your muscles supple and healthy.
on the beach can be the best of both worlds. You’ll get a great workout
in a little bit of paradise. These tips will help you avoid injury and
maximize your fat and calorie burning potential.