04 Jun Walking on Clouds
Walking barefoot on the beach is obviously good for your soul, but did you know that it’s also good for your soles? In this post we’ll explore the joys of walking on sand, which feels so good, you might call it “walking on clouds.”
Beach Bum Benefits
1. Toned Muscles
Walking on sand forces the tendons and muscles in your feet and ankles to work harder. This allows them to stretch with every step, leading to greater flexibility and strength. Why is that good? Because strong, flexible ligaments will help prevent problems like tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and other painful conditions. Also, that extra toning will make your legs look lean and firm.
2. Nature’s Pedicure
If you’re used to using a pumice stone or a foot file to tackle your calluses, now you can let Mother Nature do the work for you. Sand is a natural exfoliant, and walking barefoot in it will scrape those corns and calluses off your feet and wash them away. Soaking your feet in salt water also helps loosen the rough, dry skin that leads to callus buildup. It’s a natural pedicure and it’s free to boot.
3. Better Burn
You’ll burn more calories walking on the sand, for two reasons. First, it’s harder to walk on sand than it is to walk on flat ground, so you’ll get a boost in burning just from that. Also, people who walk on the beach tend to walk longer distances than they do when they’re on dry land, because it’s more enjoyable. Sand walking is a relaxing, energizing way to get your exercise and breathe in the salt air.
4. Better Balance
Walking on sand is a prime example of what podiatrists call proprioception. The term refers to times when our body is forced to learn how to walk on unfamiliar terrain. It’s one of the benefits of walking in a natural environment like grass or on an uneven surface like an unpaved road. Proprioception is especially important to anyone who has suffered a foot or ankle injury because it is key to rehabilitation.
If you’re planning a beach vacation, pick a place that offers lots of opportunities for strolling through the sandy clouds. Here are some suggestions courtesy of beach sand expert Dr. Beach.
Kiawah Island Beachwalker Park, South Carolina
With a name like that, it has to heaven for beach walking, and it is. Kiawa is a barrier island and you’ll find more than 10 miles of pristine beach to walk along. The beach offers parking and is a short drive from all the charm and history of Charleston.
Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida
Florida is famous for its soft, white sand beaches, and Siesta Beach is regarded as having some of the softest, cleanest sand in the state. It also boasts a wide, crescent-shaped beachfront and calm waters.
A pink sand beach? Yes, it’s true. On this quiet beachfront you can enjoy three miles of sparkling pink sand and warm water. Harbour Island is regularly rated as one of the top island beaches in the world for good reason.
You’ll walk on soft sand shaded by coconut trees and cooled by gentle breezes. Kailua Beach is one of the longest, flattest and most beautiful beaches in Hawaii.
Take Some Care
At Shuman Podiatry, we want your fun in the sun to be enjoyable. As with any exercise or outdoor exposure, use common sense and don’t overdo your barefoot beach walking.
- Don’t overexert yourself, especially if you’re not a regular walker.
- Rinse the salt and sand from your skin when your beach day is done.
- Always use moisturizer after being out in the sun, salt and wind.
Ready to Bare?
If your feet aren’t ready to be seen bare on the beach, call Shuman Podiatry. We can help you with any foot problems including:
- fungal toenails;
- ingrown nails;
- calluses and corns;
- more serious foot or ankle problems.
Get your feet ready to run, walk or stroll proudly down any sandy, sunny path. Call Shuman Podiatry and get ready to hit the beach in full stride.
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