Last week we took T on a trip to visit his grandparents in Florida. We stayed on the beach, which meant lots on long barefoot walks along the shoreline. Did you know that, aside from the obvious relaxation component, walking on the beach benefits the body in a myriad of ways? Read on to see how fitness can, in fact, be a walk on the beach:
–Build Muscle on the Beach: Have you ever noticed how much harder you have to work while walking on the beach as opposed to pavement? It takes about double the amount of energy to move on sand. Muscles like calves, quads, and glutes have to work harder to propel you forward.
–A Little Calorie Burn with Your Sunburn: Walking on the beach burns approximately 50% more calories than walking on a firm surface.
–Palm Trees and Proprioception: In the gym, I use equipment like the Bosu to improve a client’s proprioceptive skills. Proprioception is loosely defined as “sense of self”. Nerves in the body provide information on things like muscle length, tension, and joint position. Proprioceptive training can improve spacial awareness, which allows for safer and more efficient movement. The nerve endings in the feet range from 3,000-5,000 in number. Walking barefoot on an uneven surface, such as sand, is a great way to foster awareness of hip, knee, and ankle alignment.