Sunrise, waves crashing on the beach, the cool breeze and the revitalising smell of sea water – is there anything better than going for an early morning run at the beach?
Although it may sound like a pipedream to some, it is perfectly possible in many places across Asia, or even in the Middle East. Aside from the visual benefits of going for soft sand beach runs in the early hours of the morning, here are some of the practical benefits to kick you into gear!
1. It mixes things up
They say that variety is the spice of life, and in terms of running, this is no different. If you always run at the park, or on the footpath, change things up and have some fun at the beach. You may find this slight change to be a refreshing and fun exercise. And if you wait till the sun is up and awake, you will be able to get your daily dose of vitamin D too.
2. It reduces the impact on your joints
Every time your feet land on the sand, it gives in and absorbs most of your impact. This reduces the amount of stress on your joints - your ankles, knees and hips will be thanking you for the switch!
3. It trains your other muscles
Sand is an unstable surface, so when you run on it, your body has to work harder just to keep your balance. The advantage of this is that you get to train the smaller and often neglected muscles in your feet and body. Start slow and be careful that you don’t overdo it though. It can be easy to injure your tendons and muscles, especially when you are not used to running on unstable surfaces.
4. It trains your balance
As you will be training many of your unused muscles, you’ll get more comfortable with running on uneven surfaces, and as a result, improve your balance. You can even break up your run with squats and lunges, which are much harder to do on sand, thus increasing your balance even further.
5. It helps you burn more calories
Running on soft sand is much harder than running on hard surfaces. Given that your body will be working harder, you’ll also end up burning more calories!
So if you’re lucky enough to have a beach near you, what are you waiting for?