Looking forward to a break from work, but reluctant to lose your fitness? Check out our seven benefits of beach running and pound the sand in style.
7 incredible benefits of beach running
1. You burn 30 per cent more calories
Running on sand makes you work harder. With each stride, your feet sink a little, forcing you to exert more energy than running on tarmac, and burning around 30 per cent more calories.
2. Regular sand running can help prevent injuries
Running on sand without trainers forces your smaller, stabilising muscles in the knees, ankles and feet to work harder than running on roads. Therefore, continual beach running and strengthening of such muscles may help to prevent common road injuries.
3. Beaches are a natural assault course
Onlookers must think I’m a mad woman as they watch me fly up and down sand "hills". It’s great resistance training and strengthens the legs. To put your agility to the test, jump over small pools of water, and race the incoming tide for short spurts of speed work. For more obstacle racing tips click here
4. Give your joints a break
A study by Griffith University, in Queensland, Australia, found that landing on soft sand increases the time in which our feet sink into it. The overall stress of pounding on the lower joints, such as ankles and knees, is reduced. Sand running also allows you to give your calf muscles a good workout without the risk of any impact injuries, and can also reduce the risk of shin splints.
5. Natural refreshment
Nothing beats diving into the ocean after a hard beach run. A soak in the sea won't give you the same recovery benefits as an ice bath, but it will work wonders to soothe your hard-worked muscles while leaving you feeling refreshed.
6. Picture-perfect surroundings
In Goa, I am spoilt for choice when it comes to beach running. Although running along the Mandovi river and onto Miramar Beach is one my favourite stretches offering stunning scenery and a lovely sea breeze.
7. Try going barefoot
I feel empowered by the ability to fling off my running trainers and run directly on the sand. It also forces you to grip with your toes, which strengthens both calf and feet muscles. Click here for more barefoot running tips
Beach running tips
Run on flat, wet sand where possible, to avoid tendon strains or ligament injuries
If running barefoot, watch out for shells or broken glass! Do not expect to run at your normal pace. Sinking in the sand as you run will slow you down. Take it easy, be sensible and build up your stamina steadily
Finally, enjoy it!