The summer is here, and for many of us, that means taking long walks and/or long runs barefoot on the beach while listening to music and letting the ocean breeze hit us in the face.
The exercise is great way to stay in shape and burn calories. According to the University of Western Australia, athletes who run on soft sand build more power at a given speed than they would if they were running on the road at the same speed.
However running barefoot on the beach may lead to foot and ankle injuries leaving you unable to do your favorite summer activities. The reason for this is because many people are not used to running on this type of surface. Your feet and ankles are used to having the support and cushion from your sneakers while running on a flat surface and now they are running on a soft, uneven surface… they may not like that!
According to a study called The Dynamic Loading response of Surfaces Encountered in Beach Running performed at Griffith University, barefoot running allows pronation to both occur earlier and end later in an athlete’s landing. This applies more pressure on the ankle and knee joints leaving them more susceptible to injury than if an athlete were running on even ground.
To help avoid injuries here are Roxbury Foot and Ankle Center’s 5 Key Strategies for Running on the Beach:
- Wear sneakers that provide cushion and support;
- If running barefoot, start slow and short and gradually build up time and distance;
- Run on flat sand;
- Take time to warm-up your muscles and joints before starting your run;
- Stretch all your leg muscles after running.
As always, if you feel continued pain or discomfort in your feet or ankles, visit your our Northern NJ podiatrist offices based in Morris and Sussex County.
Enjoy your summer!
* This post was written as a guest spot by Paul Huckett of VALEIRA Inc. Paul oversees VALEIRA’s Instructional and Interactive division which offers eLearning and distance learning solutions for corporations.
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