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This content references scientific studies and academic research, and is fact-checked to ensure accuracy. Our team of d nutritionists and dietitians strives to be objective, unbiased, and honest. We are committed to bringing you researched, expert-driven content to help you make more informed decisions around food, health, and wellness.
We know how important making choices about your overall health is, and we strive to provide you with the best information possible. If you love walking for exercise , know that there are more benefits to hitting the beach than simply seeing some gorgeous views and smelling that fresh salty air. The available science shows that you'll actually get a far better walking workout overall.
For just a few of the amazing side effects on your body of taking your brisk walk to a sandy beach, read on, because we've listed a handful of them right here. Have you noticed that walking on sand for just about any period of time can just feel harder than walking on a nicely paved sidewalk? You're not imagining things, and your body is feeling it, too. According to an old study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology , walking on sand "has a profound effect on the mechanics and energetics of locomotion.
What's more, you'll feel these effects whether you're going barefoot or wearing a pair of running or walking shoes. According to the aforementioned study, the reason your body churns through more energy propelling you over sand is because you're recruiting more work out of your muscles and tendons. In short, every time your foot digs into that sand, you're activating more muscles across your body to get it out than you would if you were taking a step on your paved driveway.
According to Healthline , "the increased resistance [of sand walking] will strengthen the muscles between your feet and back, especially your calves, quadriceps, and glutes. According a study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences , exercising on sand can also reduce your risk of injury, noting that "the lower impact forces experienced on sand can limit muscle damage, muscle soreness, and decrements in performance capacity relative to exercise intensity.
Have you ever heard the term "proprioception? According to Leython Williams , PT, DPT, examples of proprioception at work include "throwing a ball without having to look at the throwing arm" and "knowing whether feet are on soft grass or hard cement without looking. It's essential for balance, stability, and coordination, and research has shown that walking on sand will strengthen your sense of proprioception. In this way, sand walking is similar to standard proprioceptive exercises, such as balancing one-legged on a cushion with your eyes closed. According to a study published last year in the journal Healthcare Basel , those who walked on sand shrank their waists by 2.
What's more, after four months of "sand walking training," the volunteers reported a higher quality of life and better "dietary control. Yes, this is obvious, but it's worth noting here regardless: Walking on the beach is a wonderful stress reliever in seemingly countless ways.
You'll be soaking in vitamin-D which is linked to a reduced risk of depression , you'll be communing with nature which is linked to a reduced risk of depression , and you'll have a view of a massive expanse that psychologists say will help you feel as though your own problems, in the grand scheme of things, just aren't so big.
But if you need further proof, know that a recent study published in the journal Environmental Research found that walkers who went by bodies of water including beaches for only 20 minutes felt the de-stressing effects. Here's why propelling your feet and legs through sand does wonders for your body. By William Mayle. William Mayle is a UK-based writer who specializes in science, health, fitness, and other lifestyle topics. . Read This Next.Need walks on the beach
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9 Benefits of Walking on the Beach