Jogging on a beach is a great activity with tremendous health and psychological benefits but if one is not careful, it may cause injury, say orthopedic experts.
The common perception is that sand, which is soft and giving compared to hard pavement, is easier and safer on the joints. But physicians warn that just the opposite is true.
“As you run on irregular, inconsistent surface like sand, the forces that go through the feet, ankles and hips vary dramatically and can predispose an athlete to injury in any one of these body parts,” said Michael Ciccotti, chief of the Sports Medicine Centre at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia.
Sprains and tendonitis are commonly diagnosed injuries after running on the sand. Common, too, are strains and inflammation of joints and tendons in the knee, lower leg and ankle – even fractures, Ciccotti said in a statement.
Wearing running shoes that offer stable support and are designed to absorb the shock of hitting the surface while running could prevent injuries, Ciccotti recommended.
He added: “Replace shoes about every nine to 12 months, stretch and warm up before you start to run, and don’t over-exert yourself if you aren’t used to running long distances.”
Ciccotti also said that one should pay attention to the running surface and watch out for changes in the terrain that may cause a stumble or fall.
“Running on the beach is a great activity with tremendous health and psychological benefits. We just need to be extra careful to remain free of injury,” Ciccotti remarked.