9 Easy Come By Benefits of a Walk on the Beach

By Louise Pool
Living right next to the beach, I do a good amount of walking on the beach. I'll go in the early morning for exercise and in the evening to beachcomb.

We all know walking is good for you; what makes a walk on the beach even better for you?

9 Easy come by benefits of walking on the beach infographic

  1. Your body weight pressing down on the grains of the sand stimulates the pressure points on the soles of your feet. You get a free foot reflexology massage and you don't need the relaxing CD in the background...
  2. Walking barefoot is "grounding". When walking barefoot, you absorb free electrons directly through the soles of your feet. Research has shown that this has a powerful antioxidant effect and may also reduce inflammation throughout your body.
  3. The mineral rich sea air can help with relaxation (magnesium) and boost your thyroid activity (iodine).
  4. You burn 20-50% more calories than when you take a normal walk. Due to the unevenness of the terrain, your muscles need to work harder to stay balanced. (The softer the sand, the harder the workout...)
  5. Sand provides a natural cushion and because it "gives" as you walk, it lessens stress and strain on your bones, joints and tissues.
  6. Your feet get softer as sand exfoliates by rubbing off the dead skin as you walk. And if you walk along the water, you'll get the Dead Sea Salt exfoliation effect as well.
  7. Improve bone strength in the hips, knees and lower legs. This is important for all of us, but especially for women as we get older.
  8. And because your muscles need to work harder your legs and butt get toned more easily.(There are special toning shoes that emulate walking on sand exactly for this effect.)
  9. Walking along the water's edge can reduce swelling of your ankles. There is a band of connective tissue around the front of the ankle joint that can block lymph flow and the gentle action of the waves can release some of the pressure in this area and allow lymph fluid to move up the leg.
If you haven't taken a walk on the beach in a long time, you're better off walking in the wet sand until your ankles and calf muscles get used to the uneven ground. Once you're "trained" you can start walking in dry sand for a harder workout. Too much too soon and you might end up with sore ankles or shin splints. It also helps to do a few gentle stretches before your walk.

Another huge benefit for me is that I really dislike the idea of being "forced" to do anything (even by myself). Maybe it's an islander thing. A walk on the beach is so enjoyable and relaxing, though, that I can easily trick myself into exercising. After all, I'm just having a pleasant little stroll on the beach...

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