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Family Sports & Fitness

Beach Runner

Long stretches of beach beckon the walker and runner in all of us. The grains of sand provide excellent resistance too, and the solitude of the experience makes it even more appealing. The best news? Walking or running on sand burns about 30 percent more calories than the same exercise on a hard surface. No wonder it’s so exhausting! Get the most of your beach walk/run with these tips..

Start wet:
The firmer sand near the water is the best place to begin as you get used to the give of the sand. Warm up in the wet sand, then add in 1 or 2 minute intervals of running (or faster walking) on the soft, dry sand before returning to the wet sand to recover. Start with short runs/fast walks of 15 – 20 minutes, then build up to more time as your legs adapt.

Designate shoes:
Keep one pair of running shoes just for the beach so you don’t have to get all the sand out each time.

Beware barefoot:
Running on uneven surfaces can increase your risk of sprains, strains and tendonitis in ankles and knees, not to mention cuts and punctures in your feet. But, barefoot beach walking/running does offer a good workout for your calves and feet as they grip the ground. The best strategy is to stay on as smooth and flat a surface as you can find if you go barefoot. And start off by walking, then slowly build to running so your muscles have time to adapt to the uneven surface.

Beware barefoot:
Build up your strength and endurance on the new surface. You won’t run at your usual pace at first. It’s OK.

Don’t burn out:
The UV rays on the beach are relentless, so use a broad-spectrum sunscreen or wear lightweight pants and a long-sleeve shirt. Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses too.

Get a post-workout pedi:
Cool down with a walk in the sand and into the water – barefoot – to make the most of the beach’s natural healing properties and exfoliating action.

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