On the Coastal Route to Greater Fitness

A walk on the beach is undoubtedly more of a pleasure than a pain, but it can also play a major role in your New Year fitness regime.

Checking the tide times, getting your boots on and heading to the shore for a brisk walk can be far better for your body than a strenuous jog in the park or high-impact session at the gym.

Walking provides a good form of cardiovascular exercise. It strengthens your lungs and heart, as well as improving your muscle strength and endurance. It has benefits for bones, for boosting circulation and for preventing weight gain.

Power walking can actually burn as many calories in a session as running or jogging, and yet the risk of injury is far less. What’s more, you get to enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors rather than being stuck in a gym. Would you rather look at a stretch of beautiful British coastline or a group of sweaty people lifting weights and peddling on bikes that never move an inch?

Beach walking can be a particularly good form of exercise for the over 50s. It puts far less stress on the spine than running and can promote highly beneficial tissue cleansing. It’s also a form of exercise where the results can be seen – and felt – relatively quickly. This does depend on a person’s age, general health and fitness levels, but it can be surprising how quickly walkers see a reduction in body fat and an increase in energy levels.

Health experts say that you should exercise for half an hour every day and on a minimum of five days. Walking gives you greater flexibility than many other forms of exercise, and whether you choose to take a 15-minute walk on the beach twice daily, or enjoy a long weekend walk to make up for a lack of activity throughout the week, it’ll certainly be more interesting than the gym!

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