Why Your Next Outdoor Workout Should Be on Sand

Trevor Thieme C.S.C.S.
·2-min read
Photo credit: Ryan McVay - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ryan McVay - Getty Images

Sure, the fresh air and natural beauty will do your mind and body good, but the real advantage lies underfoot. If you’ve ever tossed around a football at the beach, you know how hard it is to move around on sand. It has much more “give” than harder surfaces like asphalt, grass, and dirt, and while that softness reduces the impact on your body, it also requires you to put more effort into every step. Indeed, a small study by Australian researchers found that the energy expended exercising on sand is up to 1.6 times greater than that of exercising on grass.

Plus, because sand is inherently unstable, the smaller stabilising muscles throughout your body – but especially in your legs – have to work overtime to keep you on your feet. The result: More calories burned and a better total-body workout than you can get on firmer ground.

Your move: If you’re in the mood for cardio, head to your nearest beach and either leave your shoes in the car or keep them on as you work up a sweat (the above study showed similar metabolic benefits to running shod and barefoot on sand). The closer you are to the water, the firmer the sand will be, and the easier your run will become, so keep that in mind as you manage your pace and fatigue.

Sign up to the Men's Health newsletter and kickstart your home body plan. Make positive steps to become healthier and mentally strong with all the best fitness, muscle-building and nutrition advice delivered to your inbox.

SIGN UP

Love what you’re reading? Enjoy Men’s Health magazine delivered straight to your door every month with Free UK delivery. Buy direct from the publisher for the lowest price and never miss an issue!

SUBSCRIBE

You Might Also Like