Bored with the usual grind of going for a run and having that run consist of miles of flat, hard asphault or dealing with colorful characters while on a treadmill? If you’re lucky enough to live by the beach, or be visiting one soon , switch up your routine and go for a jog in the sand. Not only is the view gorgeous and the smell of the ocean way better than your typical street/gym smells, the sand offers excellent resistance. That resistance helps burn 30% more calories! Here’s some tips to get the most out of your sandy workout:

Choose your equipment: You don’t need a whole lot for a run on the beach. We would choose these versitile shorts from Nike that have a matching halter top for plenty of support. Also, the shorts are made out of swimsuit material just in case you decide to take a quick dip.

Go barefoot. Going without shoes allows you to use your toes to grip the ground, so it’s great for the muscles in your feet and calves. Just be careful because running on uneven surfaces can increase the risk of sprains and tendonitis, not to mention cuts and scrapes from broken shells and glass. Choose the flattest, cleanest surface you can find. Ease into barefoot running by starting off walking, and gradually move to running to avoid straining your muscles.

Start on wet sand: Do your first beach run on the wet, firm sand near the water. Do alternating intervals of running on the softer sand for one to two-minute intervals, then switch to walking on the hard, wet sand for three to five minutes to recover. Stick with short runs totaling 15 or 20 minutes until you adapt to the soft sand.

Protect yourself from UV rays. Running on the beach offers no protection from the sun, so lube up on a broad-spectrum sunscreen, or you may prefer to wear a lightweight long-sleeve shirt if you’re especially prone to sunburns. A hat will shade your face and neck, and sunglasses will protect your eyes from the glare of the sun’s reflection on the water.

Finish barefoot: Post-run, take off your shoes and cool down by walking barefoot on the beach for a few minutes to strengthen your feet and ankles. Sand is a great exfoliator, too, so it’s like you’re getting a natural pedicure;)

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