Walking Style With the Most Benefits – It Burns More Calories, Builds Strength, Beats Stress, According to Science
Walking has been universally acknowledged for its extensive health benefits, from shedding those extra pounds and promoting longevity to acting as a potent antidote for stress and bolstering mental well-being.
Intriguingly, these advantages amplify when our walks take place on sandy shores or the uneven terrains typical of beaches.
What’s in it for us?
- Double the Workout: Research shows that trudging through sand burns more energy. It takes between 2.1 to 2.7 times more energy to maintain the same walking pace on sand compared to a smoother surface.
- Enhanced Strength and Endurance: According to Fitness experts, sandy terrains demand more from our muscles, particularly those in our feet, ankles, and soles, compared to walking on paved paths or treadmills.
- Balance Booster: Sandy grounds naturally improve our posture and walking technique, ensuring better balance. Recent findings suggest that post-stroke patients can improve their walking patterns by treading on sandy terrains, compelling them to maintain stability.
- A Dose of Vitamin D: Not only essential for bone and muscle health, but Vitamin D also supports cardiac health, reduces the risk of mental disorders in youngsters, and offers protection against diabetes. The sun-kissed shores await, marrying physical activity with vitamin D absorption.
- A Natural Stress-Buster: Ever noticed serene natural landscapes adorning clinic walls? Nature, spanning from mountain ranges to ocean waves, has a scientifically documented connection with enhanced mental health and diminished stress levels. Beach walks immerse us in the therapeutic blues, especially vital for children’s mental well-being.
- Better Sleep: The US CDC affirms that exposure to daylight shortly after waking up harmonizes our internal clocks, leading to alert mornings and restful nights. Morning sunlight stimulates melatonin production, the sleep-inducing hormone, ensuring mental clarity.
- Inflammation Control: The age-old practice of “Grounding” involves a deep connection with nature, from hugging trees to feeling the earth beneath our feet. This seemingly mythical ritual, now a trend in alternative therapy, is scientifically recognized for its anti-inflammatory benefits. The rationale? Earth’s free electrons neutralize stress-inducing free radicals, alleviating chronic inflammation.
- Fosters a Health-Conscious Lifestyle: Proximity to blue spaces, like oceans, is positively correlated with increased physical activity. Beaches inherently encourage movement, from leisurely strolls to spirited games of beach volleyball.
Four Recommendations for a Safe Beach Walk:
- Begin with gentle steps to prevent potential injuries due to the rugged landscape.
- Opt for appropriate footwear; if walking barefoot isn’t an option, choose athletic or specially designed anti-slip sandals for protection.
- Be mindful of existing health conditions, utilizing walking aids if needed.
- If you suffer from foot issues, like plantar fasciitis or diabetic foot, it’s best to skip the beach walk.
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