Don’t you just love walking barefoot on the beautiful, soft sands of our beaches? (It’s a rhetorical question – we know you do.)
But did you know that those barefoot walks at sunrise or sunset have benefits to your physical and mental well-being?
Walking barefoot in the sand stimulates thousands of nerve endings on the soles of your feet. It grounds us. Sand, like grass and other ground surfaces, has negatively charged ions that experts say are a source of antioxidants in the body. Those antioxidants produce health benefits, which can include an anti-inflammatory effect.
Because sand offers resistance, it takes extra effort to walk on it – even barefoot. That means you’re building muscles in your feet, back, calves, quadriceps and glutes. The dryer the sand, the harder those muscles work.
You also burn more calories walking in sand than you do walking on a flat surface. Some experts estimate you burn 50 percent more calories walking in sand than on a stable track or path. So enjoy that extra piece of key lime pie, guilt-free.
In addition, sand is a natural exfoliant. Repeated, direct contact with it rubs away dead skin and lets your pores breathe. Sure, you can pay to have that skin removed at a spa, but walking barefoot on the beach accomplishes the same thing for free.
Walking barefoot is also relaxing – like having a foot massage – and when combined with the sounds of the waves and feel of the breeze, it can be meditative. It’s hard to stay stressed when you’re walking barefoot on the beach, don’t you think?
Enjoy the health benefits of taking a walk along our beaches. Just please Leave Only Footprints behind.