5 Benefits from Walking on the Beach
One of the best parts of living in Sarasota is easy access to some of the top beaches in the country. Whether you’re enjoying a nice family weekend, or decompressing after a hectic work day, there is nothing better than going for a walk through the sand. You may not even realize how much your body is benefitting from your walk, but a frequent stroll alongside the crashing waves can easily strengthen various aspects of your current health. Here are the top 5 benefits from walking on the beach.
- Great Exercise
Feel the burn! It comes as no surprise that walking on sand is much harder than walking on a sidewalk, but did you know that each step forces the body to expend 2.1-2.7 times more energy than it normally would on a hard surface? This extra energy usage then leads to a higher calorie burn per walk. In fact, according to Berkley Wellness people actually burn 50% more calories when walking or running on sand as opposed to performing the same exercise on paved ground.
2. Natural Exfoliation
Few things are better than a free foot scrub. While you walk on the dry sand the tiny particles work to scrub the hard surfaces of each foot and gently peel off any dead skin to reveal soft, sandal-worthy feet.
3. Connecting with Nature
Grounding yourself with the earth is known to have physical and spiritual benefits. It is believed that your feet can absorb electrical energy emitted from the earth when you walk barefoot on natural surfaces. This includes walking on sand, which then creates an enlightening experience that connects you with nature while also allowing you to enter a meditative state. Being connected with nature helps to boost mental clarity, creativity and happiness rightfully earning a spot on the top 5 list.
4. Vitamin D and Negative Ions
The beach is the perfect place to soak up the sun’s vitamin D, as well as the gulf’s plentiful negative ions. Surprisingly, most Americans, even Florida residents, are deficient in vitamin D, a vitamin that is vital for proper calcium absorption, mood, and autoimmune response. The best and easiest way to improve these deficiencies is to embrace the sunlight. About 15 minutes of sunlight per day is all you need to improve your vitamin D intake. Additionally, the beach also has a high concentration of negative ions, which are known to be natural antidepressants. Negative ions are always found in natural areas and are credited with many other health benefits as well. When they are breathed in, these tiny particles neutralize free radicals in the body that are known to create disease, boost immune system function, and revitalize cells. Negative ions and vitamin D will refuel during your beach walk while simultaneously working to bring balance to the body.
The serene nature of the beach offers the best R&R anyone could ask for. From laying out on your beach chair with your umbrella by your side (and maybe a pina colada in your hand) to walking along the shoreline, your day will for sure be full of self-care and relaxation. Kicking off your shoes offers some sweet relief from wearing constricting shoes all day everyday, and allows your feet to stretch out naturally as you take each step. Studies from the University of Exeter have even shown that people who spend more time at the beach have lower levels of stress and higher rates of overall health than those who miss out on beach days.
Therefore, I encourage you to take one day out of your week to do something for yourself and go for a relaxing walk on the beach. Take advantage of Sarasota’s abundant natural resource to unwind and forget about your upcoming to-do list, even if it’s just for an hour.