- Exercise & Fitness
Cross Train On Beach Surfaces for Cardio Benefits
The Sun was a Blazing, The shirt made for good shade.
Northern Lincoln City Beach Rocks
Healthy Walking Aids
End of Walk at the Northern Rock Face
Get a good workout by walking on beach sand
What better place to walk, none other than the “great northwest” Lincoln City Oregon coastline. I took pictures of the walk on the way back from the Northern point of beach where the walking ends at a rock face. At the end of the article, I also inserted a video of kids playing on the rocks as the waves came crashing in on these adventure seekers. If you’ve never been to this part of the Oregon coast, I highly recommend you check it out. You won’t regret it, especially on a 65-70degree blue sky day.
Every walk surface provides a different “task specific” resistive training challenge and the beach surface is no exception. Walking on sand can be a physical challenge that conditions the body a bit different than road walking. In other words, hill grades, flat road, sand, gravel, field surfaces provides various postural and muscular resistive differences when performing work. For example, when you walk on soft sand it takes more effort (energy) to propel yourself forward than road asphalt surfaces on the flat. I know if you think of your own personal beach walk experiences you know walking on the wet sand is much easier to negotiate than the soft dry sand surface. And you also understand the wet compact sand is still a bit harder to walk than an asphalt surface. Why? It takes more musculoskeletal force to get work done by propelling oneself forward as the foot is slightly absorbed with each step on the sandy surface. So what do you think I did? The same thing you do when you walk the beach for pleasure. You head for the wet compact stuff because inherently you know it is an easier walking task as you view the scenery. Instead of working my body hard this day, I decided to relax and keep the pace enjoyable... However, if you want a great cross-training walk activity, pick it up a notch by changing the walking surface. The beach walk challenge is a good change up in training techniques to shock the system..
When walking on sand it takes more effort than walking on pavement if you've only been conditioning yourself task specific to road walking. The same is true if you are a daily beach walker. A daily beach walker does fine on regular pavement for the first 2 miles but after this point and especially when they hit the road grades it literally kills them off. It’s like me trying to keep my 3.8mile/hour pace in the wet sand for a long period of time. My pace drops down to about 3.0mile/hour at best and worse in the rough. It should now be obvious that a mix of surface walking should be regimented into any “serious” walking program to maximize postural working muscles to strengthen “all” core muscles around legs, hips and mid-body while managing body weight. By mixing it up, muscle is not subjected to specific muscle memory (task specific conditioning). This means that by cross-training; muscle groupings overall fitness benefits can be conditioned optimally. Such as: Postural strengthening, body toning- sculpting; cardiovascular health and muscular endurance strength; including illness prevention and weight loss benefits. This is better than just training muscle the same way every day. So, if you want to train to be a great biker, bike in all conditions on every type of surface & weather condition. The same is true of swimming, running and so on.
If you want to be a great competitive walker you'll want to train in various terrains, weather conditions and grade to maximize training results.
Beth Shares the Day With Me
On this beach activity day my walk was a 2miler, instead of my typical 10-12 mile daily road walk. I felt I could have gone 5miles, but made it more of a fun activity with my wife this day. All in all, the walk was very fulfilling where we both could share the experience; take cool pictures of our time together & receive a shared health benefit.
Southern View From Northern Beach Rocks
Now get out there and change it up. Take your significant other to a great entertainment, fine dining establishment at a beach location with a great day of walking activity into the mix. This will ensure both of you are happy with the afternoon/evening entertainment and daily walk exercise activity for balanced daily activities. By the way, Lincoln City has many small merchant shops. So if you like to walk and shop; see the coastal art galleries if walking the beach is not your thing. Yes, there is even a walking benefit if you decide to walk the shops while scoring trinkets and taffy. This is a great destination to mix up your healthy walk activities while enjoying an exciting environment and enhancing your daily fitness benefits.