7 Benefits of Beach Walking

Walks along the beach are more than beautiful!

A young woman joyfully walks along a beach with a rainbow on the horizon.

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Who doesn’t  love the beach?  A visit to the sea is a sensory treat of fresh salty air, soft, rhythmic surf, and sugary sand. The seashore offers far more than just relaxation; beaches are also a great place to improve your health and fitness.

This does not require sprinting up and down the coast. A slow and gentle beach walk will do the trick. So put down your novel, remove your flip flops, and walk along the shore to enjoy these seven self-healing benefits of the beach.

It is good exercise

Walking on sand is different from walking on a hard surface like asphalt. In fact, walking on sand burns 20 to 50 percent more calories than walking on a hard surface, according to Discover Walking.

If you take the walk up a notch and start to jog, you will need 1.6 times more energy than that used when jogging on a hard surface. A study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that sand running is beneficial as it is low impact yet offers a high energy cost. This is because your muscles and tendons work harder when your feet sink and pull out, which leads to benefit number two.

A couple runs along the beach with their dog.

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Offers strength training

Walking barefoot in sand is a type of resistance training, according to Healthline. It strengthens the muscles between the back and the feet, as well as the calves, glutes, and quadriceps. Once again, this is due to the slight sinking and pulling sensation used with every step taken.

Also important for the aging population, beach walking improves hip strength. A study in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity showed that participants aged 60 to 75 years experienced a significant improvement in their hip strength after sand walking.

When feet sink into sand like this, feet and calf muscles are strengthened.

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May prevent progression of degenerative conditions

Muscle strengthening and the calories burned from beach walking offer both immediate and future benefits. For those with spinal arthritis, walks along the beach may help prevent degeneration from progressing, as reported by Healthline.

Seniors having fun during a beach walk.

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Easy on your body

As soft, cushiony sand is easy on your body, beach walks are ideal for those with knee, back, or hip pain, as recommended by Healthline. Walking on sand puts less stress on your body, making it easier on bones and joints.  A study in PLos One shows that sand, a free and easy-to-access resource for those who live near the sea, may even be used to treat pronated feet.

As a woman strolls on the beach, her body enjoys a gentle workout.

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Offers relaxation

A beach walk is a great way to relieve stress and calm the nervous system, according to Healthline. Be it the soft rhythm of the waves or the majestic colors of a sunset, the beach is a calming place. This offers a sense of tranquility and an appreciation for nature’s beauty.   

A woman enjoys a relaxing sunset stroll along the beach.

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Exfoliates the feet

Walking on sand gently massages your feet and removes dead skin cells, according to Healthline. This is because sand is a natural and free  exfoliant! After a barefoot beach walk, you may notice that your feet feel softer.

Feet in the sand get a massage and exfoliation.

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A therapeutic form of grounding

Taking off your shoes while on sand is a form of grounding or earthing. Doing this wellness activity for 20 minutes may make you feel happier, may improve any muscle soreness you have, and may even help you enjoy a better night’s sleep.

A little girl takes off her shoes while on the sand, becoming grounded.

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