Surely all of us have had a hobby of taking off our tight shoes and jogging on the beach. It's quite fun, but have you ever thought running barefoot on beach is also good exercise for health? It sounds a bit strange, but it's the truth.
If you do not know about this interesting exercise method, let's find out in the article below.
Benefits Of Running Barefoot On Beach
Feeling free is often the number one reason people decide to run barefoot. Specifically, when getting rid of socks and tight shoes, this comfort is an absolute feeling for many people. Your feet will breathe, and your senses will be more alert.
Connect With Nature
One of the biggest reasons for deciding to run barefoot is the feeling of being one with nature. This exercise provides a connection with the sand beneath your feet and helps you experience nature more. This is something you can never do with shoes on.
Help Your Feet Get Stronger
Running in an inflexible shoe interferes with the natural movement of the fixed muscles and ligaments in the foot. It works to replace the inherent function of the legs, so your legs will weaken over time.
If you don't wear shoes, all the tendons will work again. Exercising these underutilized tendons can prevent injury.
When you run in shoes, your body puts a lot of weight on your ankle kneecap and causes knee pain. However, this exercise will help you reduce stress on your joints and avoid injury.
The muscle tendons mentioned above play a very important role in any balance-related activities. Jogging without shoes on the sea will help you strengthen your legs, thereby improving your balance.
When wearing running shoes, the heel will be the first to land. According to experts, the best way to run is to land in the middle or front of the foot.
Shoe runners hit the ground with both shins' weight, almost three times the impact of this method. When you run without shoes, the impact will be lower because you run naturally, which distributes the weight more evenly throughout the foot.
Techniques Of Running Barefoot On Beach
Taking off your shoes and jogging barefoot on the beach is a useful exercise, but most people do it instinctively without any technique. This does not bring benefits but also exposes you to many risks. So what do you need to do?
As mentioned above, this exercise helps change your locomotion. Specifically, it requires the movement of all leg parts compared to the conventional method.
However, it is not as simple as many people think. The direct contact of the feet with the sand surface can make many people feel uncomfortable, especially when some sandy beaches are not very smooth.
Therefore, experts recommend doing a strength training exercise before starting. First, put a ball on the soles of your feet and practice standing on tiptoes. Also, try curling your toes by standing on a towel, curling and relaxing your toes.
Do them 15-20 times a session and two times/day. After about 1-2 weeks, you will find your leg muscles are more supple and ready to go to the sea.
Barefoot jogging is not simple, and you need to practice slowly, step by step. When you're not wearing shoes, you'll have to land on your toes.
This forces the muscles and tendons to put more pressure to balance the body. Therefore, it will be very dangerous if you exercise with too much intensity right from the start.
That's why you should try walking barefoot indoors or on the lawn first. Start slowly with short distances and gradually increase after each training session to allow your body to adapt. This will help you avoid injuries caused by differences in jogging methods.
Start On Wet Sand
After performing the above preparation steps well, you are ready to head to the beach. However, the dry and soft sands are still not wise for beginners. It will help if you run on wet sands after the tide first.
After a while, you can alternate 2-3 minutes on dry sand in the middle of your workout. Once you get used to the surface, you can go longer distances.
Stick To The Flat Surface
Not all beaches are jogger-friendly. Running on steep slopes or grooves will easily cause you to fall and get injured.
Thus, they will be suitable for runners who have certain experiences and want to increase the difficulty of the exercises. If you are a beginner, be patient with the flat terrain first.
If you're on vacation, try to find the place with the most tourists. Most people will be the safest and most ideal place to start exercising.
Don't incorporate activities like this or hiking until you've been given enough time to practice them. If you have heel pain after rest or pain during exercise, return to using your shoes and start slowly again once your foot has healed.
Possible Risks When Running
While practicing, gravity and resistance work a lot on the muscle groups in the lower extremities. The shoes may seem restrictive, but they play an important role in reducing pressure on the calves, ankles, tops of the feet, and heels.
Meanwhile, the method without shoes means you will have to face them completely. If the strength training is not good, the warm-up is not thorough; you will risk muscle cramps or tearing.
Knee And Hip Injuries
In addition to the legs, hips and knees are also the two most affected parts when practicing this exercise. When practicing on sand, especially dry sand, your body tends to lean forward. This forces your knee to work as a shock absorber.
Besides, when jogging on sloping beaches, the feet inside the shore will be higher than those near the water. This disparity puts pressure on your hips. The pressure on the hips is proportional to the length of the leg.
- Exposure to many bacteria: Sand beaches contain a lot of bacteria, fungi, or dirt pushed in from the sea. It can damage your skin, infect your toenails, etc.
- Step on sharp objects: Sandbanks can hold many sharp objects such as shards of glass, grass, or even snail shells. If not carefully observed, they can injure you.
- Back pain: this method leads to uneven foot weight. This imbalance can exacerbate leg deformities that affect the upper body, such as back pain.
- Causes foot odor: It can cause foot odor if you don't clean it properly after a workout.
Tips To Run Barefoot Safely
Tide is the phenomenon of seawater, river water up and down in a certain time cycle in a day. This is no longer a strange phenomenon for many people, but it has more roles than you think.
The receding tide will leave wet and solid sands, ideal terrain for barefoot runners. Therefore, it will be a wise choice if you start your journey this time.
You can find information about high and low tide times in local news, newspapers, or websites.
Check Your Knee
There are many beaches with sizable inclines, even those that appear flat will become steeper at low tide. As mentioned above, running on inclines can be very risky for you.
The inclined plane will cause your legs to become uneven when running. Therefore, you should run in both directions to ensure that both legs are trained equally. One more advice here is that you can stick trails if your knee is not good.
Full Sun Protection
The sea area is often hot and sunny, has a high number of hours of sunshine, and has high UV intensity. Therefore, fully equipped with sunscreen tools is extremely necessary to protect your health and skin:
- Sunscreen: Don't forget to apply it before going to the beach to protect your skin from direct sunlight.
- Wide-brimmed hat: Helps protect the head and front area from UV rays
- Sunglasses: anti-glare, sunscreen when high light intensity will make your eyes glare and uncomfortable.
- Clothing: Choose sports clothes with neat, cool designs, good ventilation, and sweat absorption.
Keep Enough Water
Being outdoors is a great way to exercise and refresh your mind, but you also have to pay attention to rehydrate your body. Because when it's hot, your body will sweat more to lower the internal body temperature.
Drinking water helps muscles work and avoid fatigue. You should not only drink water when you feel thirsty. Your body needs water before, during, and after an activity. You can use filtered water or sports drinks that are rich in electrolytes.
For the best for the body, you should drink two glasses of water before jogging. Try to drink 100-150 ml every 15-20 minutes to keep the body hydrated during the activity.
Please carry a 500 ml water bottle with you and drink it often. Finally, don't forget to drink water after you're done exercising.
Does Running Barefoot On The Beach Burn Your Feet?
Yes, when you're just starting. After a while, your feet will form clams and be less likely to burn. However, you should still run in cool sandy places to avoid this situation to be safe.
When Is The Best Time To Start This Exercise?
Dawn is the ideal time because then the sand is cool, and it is also the time when you have the most energy of the day.
Above is information about running barefoot on beach. This exercise is ideal for those who want to improve their health and love outdoor activities. However, do it properly and apply some tips to avoid undesired risks.
Hope you have effective and safe training hours. Thanks for reading.