Did you know that the soles of your feet have more sweat glands and nerve-endings per square centimeter than any other part of your body? And that walking barefoot stimulates them much more than walking in shoes?
Not only are you stimulating nerve endings when you walk on the sand, but you’re also strengthening the muscles in your feet, which doesn’t get used nearly as much when you’re wearing shoes. And according to Martin Zucker, author of Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? you may be better connected to the earth when you ditch your shoes, reaping vital mood-boosting benefits. “Earthing,” argues Zucker, reconnects our bodies to the ever-present energy of the earth, which modern lifestyles have increasingly diminished.
And in a study focused on running and walking on the sand, researchers found that walking on sand requires 1.6 to 2.5 times the energy than it takes on a hard surface.
“Our muscles perform more mechanical work when running or walking on sand than on a hard surface,” said study co-author Dr. Thierry M. Lejeune, M.D.
If treading on the unwieldy sand for too long sounds tiring, try alternating your walk or run on the more compact sand closer to the water, where the surface will be less challenging.