As my UBW Santa Monica boot camp clients already know, they start to reap the benefits of running and working out in the sand almost immediately. Sure, it creates optimum strengthening of the leg muscles with each step, but it’s much less impactful on your joints than any other workout surface, plus (and this is my favorite) it burns nearly twice as many calories than running or working out on a hard surface. Of course, before you start any sand-running regimen, check with your doctor and make sure you have good running shoes. Easily one of the best workouts that you can do, regularly working out in sand will quickly transform your body and increase your proprioception (overall coordination) – which will create the kind of capable athletic beach body that excels in everything from volleyball to surfing to looking hot in your favorite bikini or boardshorts.
More strength is developed in your lower body running on sand.
Beach sand shifts beneath your feet as you as you run, your calves, ankles and arches are fully engaged and you become stronger, faster according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The study followed 51 men for six weeks and compared their physical fitness development and performance on different workout surfaces. Thigh circumference increased and physiological performance improved in sand runners and road runners, but sand runners showed a bigger increase in calf circumference and strength overall.
Sand workouts burn lots more calories.
In the European Journal of Applied Physiology, a study published in the and Occupational Physiology concluded that people who ran or worked out on beach sand burned between 1.2 and 1.8 times more calories per run or exercise. That’s between 20 and 80 extra calories per exercise. When people run or perform weight lifting on the loose sand, they use significantly more energy when covering the same distance or performing the same exercise.
By regularly working out on the sand, you’ll have better balance become more coordinated.
The uneven, shifting surface of sand not only activates all of the muscles of your lower body, it also fully engages your upper body as you struggle to maintain proper form and balance. Core abdominals, back and shoulders all get an extra workout as you are challenged by the sand surface. Performed consistently, the result is more strength, flexibility and full-range of motion, giving better body control overall.
Sand running is much easier on your joints.
Running and jumping on a softer surface gives joints, tendons and muscles a break from the impacts and pounding they take on concrete or asphalt. If you’ve ever watched a beach volleyball game, and seen the ball hit the sand, you know it does not bounce, that’s because beach sand absorbs nearly 100% of the impact. When your workout or run on the beach, every time your foot presses into the sand, the impact force is minimized and your body is subjected to less wear and tear.
You can’t beat the stunning Santa Monica Beach view!
Whether you are up at the crack of dawn and experience a beautiful sunrise or attend a sunny boot camp later run morning, working out or running in sand provides you with scenery you just can’t get on a treadmill or in a stinky gym. Besides – what’s more motivating than sun-kissed surfers or a school of dolphins to help inspire your workout and take it to the next level?