The benefits of walking in the Algarve
Whether you’re a seasoned walker looking to mix up your location, a beach lover seeking new seaside entertainment, or a holiday goer wondering what to do, it’s safe to say that walks on the beach are an all-around winner. From the quality of the workout on legs, knees, and ankles to the feelings of well-being a walk along the sand can bring, as long as you know your limits, walking can bring endless benefits, but keep reading to find out more.
The Benefits of Walking on the Beach
While we may all be familiar with the benefits of walking – or getting our bodies moving in any capacity – it must be said that fitness walking on the beach is particularly effective for various reasons.
Requiring more effort than walking on a hard surface, walking on the beach is great exercise, helping improve your cardiovascular health and even strengthening your muscles, particularly those in your ankles, hips, and core. This is because walking on sand activates your entire foot, working different muscles than you would typically work and boosting the benefits of your exercise! In fact, you’ll even burn about one-and-a-half to two times more calories than when walking on a firmer surface!
Low impact exercise
Though a walk on a beach is great exercise, the soft sand makes it a low-impact exercise, which means there’s a lower risk of injury – perfect for those with back or joint pain.
There’s nothing quite as relaxing as crashing waves as a sea breeze ruffles your hair. While doing anything at the seaside is an instant mood booster, walking releases exercise endorphins on top of the joy of simply being at the beach, making the exercise a double whammy of good vibes.
Allows you to connect with nature
Being at the beach most often means being in the sunshine, which means getting your daily dose of vitamin D, perfect for promoting healthy bones, immune and nervous systems, and heart health. However, the natural landscape that is the beach has also been found to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, leaving walkers feeling lighter, happier, and in better health.
Top Tips for Walks on the Beach
Though there may not seem like there’s much to it, some care should be taken when walking on the beach to ensure you take advantage of all the benefits without facing any injuries along the way.
The best thing you can do before your walk on the beach is to stretch, particularly warming up your leg muscles. Ending your walk with a nice cool down is also a great idea, ensuring you’re not left any stiffer than you need to be the following day. Then there are the properties of the terrain – looking for a slightly firmer surface? How about walking nearer the sea where the sand provides more support? On a beach with dunes or a sharp incline? This can lead to muscle strain, so we recommend walking in a zig-zag motion to work both sides of your body.
Other tips include thinking carefully about how far you want to go and ensuring you don’t push yourself too far or too fast if you’re not used to exercising. It’s also worth considering that while the beach is a natural wonder, it also brings risks in its sheer power, so keep an eye on the tides, cliffs, and any other natural dangers that may catch you out.
The final tip is to put thought into your footwear. While flip-flops are a common choice for beachy environments, they’re not recommended for long walks. A common option is to walk barefoot – for the exfoliation and grounding feeling – but consider whether you need a bit more arch and ankle support. If you do, well-fitting trainers will be a much better option.
Walking in the Algarve: Unmissable Spots
Wondering where to walk in the Algarve? The Carvoeiro area is home to a whole host of beach walks perfect for everyone from beginners to seasoned pros. From the seven hanging valleys trail to a long amble along the golden sand at Praia da Marinha, beach enthusiasts are sure to find their fill – and what better way to explore it all than on foot, allowing you to take in every step?
Located only a stone’s throw from some of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve, the Rocha Brava Village Resort makes an excellent location from which to explore its surrounding nature, providing a home away from home packed with vitamin D and opportunities to boost your well-being.
Ready to reap the benefits? Book your stay now!