If running seems like such an enjoyable exercise, imagine running along the beach with the sound with the waves joining your every stride. Sounds enticing, right? Yes, more than just having a picturesque view while getting fit, beach running has other benefits that might encourage you to try the workout.
Although beach running may appear as a carefree activity, it is not as simple as it appears to be. Proper preparation is necessary to ensure safety while running on the beach. Make sure that you’re ready before going beach running because injuries may result from lack of knowledge on the exercise.
One of the most important matters to consider prior to going to the beach is wearing sunscreen. Ensure that you have adequate protection from the sun since sand reflects rays. Also, be extra careful in choosing the right beach, look for beaches with even surfaces you can run on. Running on sloping, uneven sands can lead to injuries. In choosing a beach, you must also consider cleanliness of the shore–especially if you’re planning to run barefoot. On the other hand, if you’re planning to wear shoes, select a pair you’re most comfortable at and make certain that it fits you well because it is inevitable for sand to get in your shoes. Put on a pair of socks that can protect your feet from sand as well.
Once you’re ready to go beach running, there are some important precautions to keep in mind to minimize the risks of getting injured.
First, especially for beginners, prefer running on wet, firmer sand rather than dry, loose ones. Wet sand is softer than pavement and asphalt so you can still enjoy getting less impact from running. It’s more advisable to start running on wet sand and once you get the hang of it, transition to running on dry sand. Running on soft, loose sand may take some time getting used to since loose sand is too soft to step on and will make your feet sink into it. Thus, running on dry sand without accurate preparation may lead to injuries.
Another important thing to remember is to not expect your speed to be the same as what you have on pavements. Keep in mind that beach running requires more effort because your feet sinks to the sand—and as a result, they have to work twice as hard to propel you forward with every step. Therefore, it will affect your pace. Don’t beat yourself up by trying to achieve the same speed you have on road running too soon. Although beach running may decrease your speed, it works on increasing your leg power and endurance instead.
So, what makes beach running special aside from the breathtaking background? There are some other perks to beach running than the view.
Running on beach burns more calories than running on pavements; because extra effort is necessary for beach running, it can burn more calories than running on hard surfaces. A study published on “European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology” in 1992 revealed that beach running (or walking) burns around 30% more calories than road running.
You can exercise without the worry of abusing your joints. Sand, even wet or dry is softer than roads, pavements, asphalts, or any other concrete surfaces that’s why it has less impact on joints.
Just like running on pavements, beach running is an excellent means of relieving stress. Additionally, the beautiful view can add to production of happy thoughts.
You can hit two birds with one stone with beach running. You get to enjoy getting fit and at the same time, have a pleasurable experience the ambiance of just being in the beach brings.