When we’re not offering world-class physio in Auckland, we’re doing what so many of our fellow locals do every summer – enjoying our beautiful beaches. Auckland’s beaches are not just places to be enjoyed in a recreational sense. They also give us a golden opportunity to get some great exercise and a good workout for our legs. As experts in keeping you moving, we highly recommend a long walk in the sand while you’re visiting the beach this summer.
Walking on the sand is vastly different from walking on the street. Did you know that walking on dry sand requires nearly three times more energy expenditure than walking on a solid surface at the same speed? That’s because the foot sinks into the sand which means the muscles must work harder to propel you forward for the next step. Meanwhile, loose and soft sand helps to strengthen the ankle and foot muscles and the fact the lower part of the leg has to work harder during a walk on the sand can boost strength throughout the leg.
Because walking on soft sand requires more effort, more energy is needed and so more calories are burned to produce that energy. This makes regular beach walking an excellent activity to incorporate into any weight loss programme. This is not just because of the extra energy it requires but also because it is such a pleasant thing to do. Walking on the beach offers plenty of wonderful distractions in terms of things to see, hear, feel and smell and as such, it is easy to forget you’re actually exercising. As a result, you’re likely to walk for longer and burn even more calories as you do so.
Walking along the beach shouldn’t be done at a world record pace. More energy is actually expended if you walk slowly on sand rather than quickly, and the muscles in your legs are exercised more thoroughly by keeping your pace down and walking in loose sand rather than the wet, compacted stuff down by the water.
Walking on the sand really is excellent exercise. So, if you’re planning a day on the beach why not leave an hour or so earlier and get a decent walk in before you relax for the rest of the day? The benefits are numerous, especially if you make it a regular part of your exercise regime – but if you do feel any pain or tenderness after a beach walk, contact us as soon as you get back to the city.