Ever felt like the hustle of the city is getting to you, and you just need to take a break. And nothing but a walk on the beach will calm you down?
We have all been there, craving to take a holiday to a serene coastal destination, or just driving down to the closest one to feel the sand under your feet once again.
Did you ever know, apart from being a pleasing and calm experience, a walk on the beach is also quite an efficient workout! Interestingly, a beach stroll burns quite an amount of calories, also strengthens your feet muscles, improves circulation, and helps clear the mind.
Walking on our two feet is the natural way of commute for our bodies. We are surrounded by faster means of transport which only helps us NOT to walk/climb and reduce the effort. Moreover, for many city dwellers, walking has now shifted from being a mode of commute to a conscious decision that one has to make.
However, to stay healthy, one must realize, it is essential to choose a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that allows you to do tasks your body was naturally designed to do. This lifestyle can include lifting, climbing, walking, and running. Fortunately, one of the most important & efficient of these movements is walking. Walking every day gets you where you need to go and helps you have a healthier body. Besides, it is a natural movement that enables you to stay fit without having to take out time for it separately.
Walking is something you do not need to set a reminder/schedule. But it is something you can build a lifestyle around to make sure you spent that commute time more efficiently.
Walking As An Exercise
Fortunately, one can walk anywhere, and a lot of people imbibe it in their lifestyle as an exercise too. No matter what age you are, walking is something that everyone can do.
As an exercise walking helps you have a reasonably good lung capacity, maintains & improves good posture. It also improves circulation throughout the body. Builds stronger legs & maintains a healthy weight.
Walking for just thirty minutes every day reduces the chance of heart conditions. Along with, it helps to manage high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
Apart from this, walking helps clear your mind and have a healthy metabolism. It burns calories and helps maintain a slimmer midsection which, as you know, is a tough spot to work on!
Walking On The Beach: Physical Benefits
You can propel yourself to have a healthier lifestyle just by deciding to walk when you can. And what can be better than walking on the beach?
A beach provides the perfect environment for a walk. On a beach, you get surrounded by nature, have abundant oxygen, and access to sunlight. It also has a calming natural soundscape and a near-perfect land texture to walk on. Hence, it is one of the best places to take a walk.
It calls for recommendations to take beach walks in the morning and evenings. It is to avoid the harsh sun and have a fantastic view to enjoy.
1, Free Foot Massage & Exfoliation!
Beach walking helps your put pressure on your complete sole because it tends to sink in the sand. Therefore, the entire area of feet comes in contact with the ground, which helps activate every part of your sole. Consequently improves blood circulation in the foot. A hard surface like concrete tends to put pressure only on specific areas of your feet which can cause damage over time.
It is advisable to walk on the beach barefoot since the sand helps in naturally exfoliating your skin. As you walk, it is scrubbing off the dead skin and gives you naturally soft feet!
2. Improves Posture
Walking on the beach helps you maintain and improve your posture. The reason being, while walking on the sand, you need to apply more effort than usual to keep an upright position. Besides, it provides excellent resistance and helps in toning muscles that generally lie dormant.
3. Muscle Toning
The higher sand resistance provides a good workout for your legs muscles. Also, it helps you work even more with every stride you take. It strengthens your foot muscles too, which helps in reducing the chances of cramps and pulls. The sand acts as a natural cushion which helps in avoiding injuries.
4. Healthy Dose Of Vitamin D
Due to work and your lifestyle, it may be possible that you don’t get to step out in the sun often. A walk on the beach is an excellent way to soak up all that vitamin D that you couldn’t have access to throughout the week.
5. Calorie Furnace
While walking on the beach, your body has to apply more than twice the energy required for walking on concrete. It makes it an efficient way to burn off those calories and helps you do so much more quickly than walking on a harder surface.
Slow walking on the sand and letting your feet sink burns off more calories than walking fast or even jogging.
6. Improved Lung Capacity
The natural soundscape of the beach helps you focus more on consciously breathing. The abundance of oxygen in the environment helps nourish your lungs and also helps circulate oxygen to parts of the body deprived of, throughout the week. Besides, it helps in reducing the symptoms of asthma, heart conditions and detoxifies your body
The seawater contains a lot of essential minerals and amino acids that help in boosting immunity. Your skin soaks these vital minerals like magnesium which provides nourishment & improved elasticity in your skin. Salt and potassium found the seawater helps in enhancing the natural healing capability of your body.
8. Improved Digestion
Ever wondered why one feels the need to take a walk after a heavy meal? Walking stimulates digestion and helps the body in breaking down calories into energy faster. It also reduces the chance of fat accumulation since the body is actively working and uses the energy for the immediate task at hand. A good workout like beach walking is the perfect way to stimulate efficient digestion.
Walking On The Beach: The Mental Benefits
A workout in today’s day & age is not just a physical activity. It needs to have a balanced effect on your body as well as your mind. We do have busy schedules, and you might struggle to include a lot in just one day, but it is essential to make sure you pay attention to your mental fitness also.
An exercise such as beach walking checks the box of having numerous mental benefits as the Discover Walking says:
1. Psychological Benefits
These benefits of walking include calming your mind and help you get rid of the noise of the day. Sometimes taking a step back and giving it some time, helps more than fixating on a problem you face? Walking on the beach puts your mind at ease and enables you to visualize better. Having endless horizons of the Sea as a view helps in putting our minds in an almost meditative state.
2. Boosting Creativity
It is linked a lot with perspective. Viewing the same things every day makes it harder for the mind to think of creative solutions to our problems. A lot of research proves that walking, in general, helps you feel much more creatively than when you sit.
3. Fighting Depression
Fighting depression and struggling to find happiness is something a lot of people go through. Walking on the beach and letting the sun hit your skin helps boost serotonin & other ‘feel-good chemicals’ in the body that are directly associated with happiness and joy.
To begin a workout is a real struggle with a lot of people. People whose beach walk tend to cover more considerable distances on the sand than they would on a treadmill because of the wholistic experience it provides
Things To Remember For A Leveled Up Beach Walking Routine
Walking is one of the safest and natural workouts you can do, but there are a certain number of things you should keep a check on before beachy walking. According to the My Fitness Pal Blog, these are:
1. Go Slow At First
Don’t try and hit the sand like its a HIIT workout. Remember that beach walking is also supposed to calm you and clear your mind. Slowly build your pace, start by walking on a pavement slowly and gradually increase speed and sand resistance
2. Stretching And Warm-Up
Highly recommended to stretch out major muscles before stepping on the beach. It helps in preventing the chance of injury and making sure you don’t put a lot of pressure on a specific muscle group.
3. Duration & Footwear
If you plan on taking a quick stroll down to the beach you can go ahead and leave your shoes behind and soak up all the essential minerals on the seawater. Although if you plan on doing a workout out of it and take like a 30-minute walk to the end of the beach, best is to wear proper shoes to make sure you don’t injure yourself.
4. Consciously Step On Soft Sand
Make an effort to power through the resistance to have a better workout. You don’t need to go fast, but it is essential to go through the natural resistance that the beach provides.
Have some water with you if you intend on walking for more than 30 minutes. Don’t guzzle down on your bottle all at once, drink small amounts at regular intervals.
6. Wear Sunscreen And Hats
To make sure you don’t get too much of the sun on you. Long sun exposure can cause sunburns on your skin, and a good sunscreen will prevent that from happening. If it gets windy don’t forget to hold on to your hat otherwise you will be squint walking the rest of the way.
7. Know The Sea
Know the sea and have some information about the tide and make sure your path is safe to travel. Lifeguards and locals will be a great help in getting this info before your walk.
8. Maintain Good Posture
Make sure you don’t slouch and get distracted by the waves hitting your feet. Straighten your back consciously and move your arms with every stride. Don’t lock them behind or above your head.
9. Walking Pattern & Obstacles
While walking on soft sand is ideal; it can get tiring when done for longer durations. To avoid that, you should follow a zig-zag pattern of walking and alternate between the dry soft sand and harder wet sand. A natural terrain means natural obstacles, make sure you climb slopes carefully and beware of sand holes, corals and rocks.
Walking On The Beach Vs Walking On A Flat Surface
Any physical experience done on natural terrain will always give you better results. Running on grass will ever feel better than running on concrete pavement, and that is because our body design is to walk on natural terrain.
The beach is another such natural terrain that you can use your walking/running/jogging. The sand helps in providing an extra resistance that you won’t get on any flat surface.
It is also safer to walk on sand rather than a flat surface as you are less likely to scrape your foot/break a bone by taking a fall on the beach. The sand provides a soft cushion that helps you give even pressure on your foot.
Walking on sand also prevents you from banging on your joints and makes your movements shockproof.
It is important to note that any physical activity that brings you closer to nature is better for you. Our body-make is to interact better with natural elements like grass, soil, and sand. We spend much of our time surrounded by concrete and walking on roads which are a little alien to our anatomy. Often we find ourselves craving a holiday on the coast/ up the mountains because we are made to function better around our natural habitat
While choosing an environment to work out, make a conscious decision, and pick something natural when you can. Hence, beach walking is ideal, for your strength, mood, health, and recreation. Choose to apply a natural form of commute, such as walking whenever you can. It can be done by only taking the stairs to your apartment, walking to bus stops, walking to nearby stores to buy groceries, or just take a run in the park rather than sweating it out in the gym.
These little changes will keep you healthy in both muscle & mind.