Why walk barefoot on a sandy beach?

Barefoot on a sandy beach.

Bare foot beach walking

As anyone who has tried it knows, walking for a long period of time exacts a heavy toll on the feet—calluses, corns, blisters, and even more serious foot injuries.

These are often the result of wearing ill-fitting shoes.

If you have ever had sore feet, you know how uncomfortable, even agonizing, that can be.

In fact, the condition of your feet can affect the health of your entire skeletal system.

However, studies of non-shoe wearing populations in Africa and Asia conclude that people who do not wear shoes have healthier feet, fewer deformities, and have greater mobility than people in shoe-wearing societies.

So it seems that you could have the best of both worlds if you could somewhere find some place to walk barefoot.

Actually, that option is available to many people—walking on the dry sand of a clean beach or on sand dunes.

The Arthritis Exercise Book says:

A good exercise with a massaging effect is walking barefoot on a sandy beach, especially when the sand is warm. Walking in loose, dry sand exercises every single muscle of the foot, as the foot adjusts to the uneven surface.”

Besides that, walking on sand expends almost twice the energy as walking on grass or pavement. In fact, try running on dry sand, and you will soon notice the effort it requires!

The book Exercise Physiology—Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance concludes:

Certainly, a brisk walk along a beach would provide an excellent exercise stress in programs designed to ‘burn up’ calories or improve physiologic fitness,”

Thus, walking barefoot on sand not only provides the benefits of a healthful exercise routine but also lessens wear and tear on foot and leg joints.

For those with mild arthritis, it reduces the pain caused by exercise.

A word of caution.

Before you rush out to the nearest beach or sand dune, however, bear in mind these notes of caution.

Make sure that the sand you walk on with your bare feet is quite clean and free of sharp objects.

If you have any serious health problems, such as diabetes or heart trouble, you should consult your physician before taking up any new form of exercise.

And as with any exercise program, start your sand walking at a slow or moderate pace, and gradually increase your speed over a period of weeks.

This will likely lead to a safer and more enjoyable exercise routine for you.

A barefoot walk in the sand is more than fun; it might just be the beginning of steps to better health for you and your feet.

And who knows what else you might even discover on the beach or in the shallow water—shells, small fish, little hermit crabs, all kinds of birds and insects.

So keep your senses alert, and enjoy your walk!