You are going to avoid that “long walks on the beach” preference on your dating websites just because it’s that overused. That does not stop it from being one of the more enjoyable exercises around with many benefits, both physical and emotional.
Besides cool breezes, great scenery and people watching, beach walking is great exercise. It burns more calories (up to 50% more), especially if you walk slowly in loose sand, than running on a hard surface. Walking in sand requires over twice as much energy, and jogging about 1.5 times as much energy. It is easier on your feet, joints and back, as sand is much more forgiving than pavement. Also, a good shot of Vitamin D is an actually a necessity for a lot of us, and sunshine is the best way to get it.
Emotionally, people feel more “grounded “and in tune with nature, at the beach. The scenery changes constantly and it usually isn’t hard to find company. A trip to the beach sounds much more inviting than a trip to the gym. We tend to walk further and not be as aware of the time, or the usual attention suckers we have in our lives. The endorphins of exercise along with the peace of the beach make for a good day all around.
To truly enjoy a beach walk, you need to do a few small things;
1) wear supportive shoes for long walks
2) use sunscreen and a hat
3) always have water to drink
4) If you are getting overheated, go in the water
5) Bring a friend or three
Sunburn, shin splints or heat exhaustion do not bode well for a return trip.
Watch for dolphins, sea turtle nests in the sand, driftwood, and shells. If you need to accomplish something on your walk besides exercise and peace, bring a garbage bag with you. There are always things that don’t belong to pick up, and people will think you are awesome.
As the saying goes, “if you are lucky enough to live near the beach, then you are lucky enough”. Happy walking!
- Lombard JH. Reduced oxidant stress, increased NO-dependent vasodilatation, and improved endothelial function with voluntary exercise in old mice: another excuse for long walks on the beach. J Physiol. 2009 Jul 1;587(Pt 13):3059. PubMed PMID: 19567741