Is Barefoot Beach Running a good idea?

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One of the best things about summertime for a fitness enthusiast is taking those workouts outdoors. Whether you have been running on a treadmill all winter long or stuck on a track to get in your cardio, warm weather offers the benefit of taking that to fresher viewers. Those of us fortunate enough to live by the coast know one additional benefit of longer, warmer days, barefoot beach running.

You’ve seen them, the beach runners. Up and down the beach either showing off that tanned beach body or preparing for it. Barefoot, running in the sand, with a much better view than inside some fitness facility where everyone smells of sweat. I was recently at the beach, and a friend pointed to a couple of people jogging along the shore and asked if that type of barefoot jolting was beneficial. I didn’t have the answer, so research ensured.

It turns out, running barefoot on the beach is good for you and offers a variety of benefits you can’t get with sneaks on concrete. I’ve already mentioned getting to look at something different than a television or a “reach” poster, that goes without saying. What’s more relaxing than running towards a slow rising sunrise as palms sway? It turns out the slight sinking in the wet sand, the resistance it provides creates a more beneficial run and is kinder to your feet. There tons of articles with pros and cons, the most obvious is to watch out for glass and shells on the beach. Dry sand isn’t the way to go, and you want that flat slightly looking wet sand for the most optimal conditions.

The opposite side of the argument says without the support of running shoes, injuries from running can increase from running barefoot on the beach. Running on the beach with shoes seems to be the direction most doctors are leaning toward; however, there are not explicitly designed shoes for beach running. You might be inclined to turn down all the benefits after feeling sand in your shoes and socks, gross. Other factors to consider when running on the beach are the heat, sun, the tides, low tide or a receding tide is what you’re looking for.

Most agree a barefoot beach run gives you so much more resistance you don’t need to run the same length or time amount as you would on pavement or treadmill. Doctors agree if you are going the bare route to build up a tolerance and not depend on a beach run for your full cardio. Who has that type of perfect weather all year round anyway? Unless, perhaps, you live in Hawaii, and even there you may have to deal with other elements. One coincidental benefit most overlook is the option to cool down

in the ocean if you get too hot or need a break. Being barefoot means there isn’t anything to remove before taking a splash.

Like everything else in life, it’s moderation. Never limit yourself to just running in a gym, on a treadmill or solely on the beach. Mix it up and do research or “walk-search” on your beach and make sure it’s safe before you run. And of course, always consult your doctor for any health-related information before doing anything if you have concerns.