11 Jul Tips for Beach Running
A Beginner’s Guide to Beach Running
Do your vacation plans include some time at the beach? If so, you may already be thinking about getting in some workouts with an ocean view. Beach running looks like fun when you see other people do it. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? In this post, we’ll take a look at the benefits and drawbacks.
Benefits of Beach Running
1. Better mood. Many people feel more motivated to run when they’re in a beautiful setting or on vacation. Being in the open air and being near water both have proven benefits for your mental wellness, and the beach offers both. Running will feel like meditating when you’re cruising along the shoreline and watching the waves.
2. Stronger feet, calf and ankle muscles. Running on sand puts many new muscles to work. You’ll find yourself experiencing soreness in places you didn’t even know you had muscles. That’s great for overall conditioning but make sure not to put too much strain on them.
3. Increased proprioception. In running terms, proprioception is your body’s ability to adjust as needed to new and unfamiliar types of terrain. After an accident or after experiencing certain neurological illnesses, your sense of proprioception can be disturbed. Running on sand can help, but take it easy and follow your foot care specialists recommendations.
Downsides of Beach Running
1. More pressure on ligaments. Running on sand takes an extra toll on your foot and ankle ligaments. Doing it frequently will lead to strains of important tendons and the risk of painful, serious conditions like plantar fasciitis.
2. Balance problems. Because every shoreline is slanted, running on the beach means one leg will always be on a higher surface than the other. It’s almost like running with one foot on a step. Doing this for a prolonged period of time will throw your muscular balance out of whack and could lead to serious lower-back pain. Extra stretching of the leg that runs on the “short” side will help.
3. Lower-body stress. If you’ve already had problems with your feet, ankles or lower back, you might want to think twice about beach running. The increased workout that beach running gives your muscles will aggravate any problems you have and increase your chances of getting painful shin splints. If you’re prone to ingrown nail or fungal nail, your feet are better off breathing fresh air on the beach than spending time in damp running shoes.
Tips for Safety
If you decide you’d like to give running on the beach a try, follow these guidelines for the best results.
Choose packed, wet sand. The firm sand close to the water makes for more supportive ground. Look for sand that is fairly level and try to run at low tide, when the slope of the shoreline is less pronounced.
Wear shoes. Running barefoot on the beach might work in a romantic movie scene, but it’s going to be a tragedy for your feet. Aside from the fact that there are potentially sharp shells and stones in the sand, it’s just too hard a surface to run on without some kind of shoe. If you want to run barefoot, do it on grass.
Don’t overdo it. Running on the beach can feel easy because you’re enjoying the sights and sounds of the shore and the well-being that being near water brings. Be careful not to overexert yourself the first time out. Start with a few minutes on the sand at a time and build up gradually to a full run.
Watch your sun exposure. The ocean breeze may be cool and refreshing, but the sun’s rays are still working hard. Running in the early morning or early evening is the safest time to avoid getting too much sun.
Get Beach Ready with Shuman Podiatry
At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we know how exciting the summer season can be. We also know it’s high season for foot problems like a fungal nail, ingrown nail, and warts. Don’t let these problems spoil your vacation plans. Call us today and get the foot care your family needs to be ready for a summer of fun in the sun.