Summertime often brings visits to the beach, and while running on the beach can feel like a great workout, New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer advises that there are some things you need to keep in mind.
A run on the beach, particularly on soft, unpacked sand is a great workout because it requires a high-step gait, which places greater stress on the quads and hip flexors.
According to your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon, the danger with any change in running surface is not being properly prepared. The most predictable running surface is a run on a treadmill because there is some absorption of the shock felt with each step. So if you always run on a treadmill, your body will not be used to the different characteristics of the turf and asphalt.
On the beach, there is a slope toward the water so your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon suggests running the same amount of time with your left side toward the water as you do with your right side. This helps avoid the creation or aggravation of bursitis in the hip and lateral band problems on the knees.
Another thing to remain aware of while running on the beach are the holes that have been dug by previous beachgoers. Stepping in them can result in sprains to the knee or ankle.
As with any running program, “mixing it up” is your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon’s best recommendation. This includes changing the running surface, duration and/or frequency to keep boredom at bay and to provide your body with a new challenge.
It’s typically not necessary to don running shoes when running on sand, but if you’re experiencing any problems with your feet, you may want to wear them anyway.