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A Podiatrist’s Tips for Running on the Beach

It’s always best to check out a podiatrist’s tips for running on the beach before you decide to add a few sandy strides to your normal exercise routine.

Read more to learn about a podiatrist's tips for running on the beach.

Read more to learn about a podiatrist’s tips for running on the beach.

If you are a resident of South Florida, it can be very hard to ignore the beautiful allure of the nearby beaches. These sunny hideaways can function as everything from a safe haven for relaxation to your own personal exercise area.

However, before you kick off our shoes and hit the sand running, it’s important to make sure that you are not putting your body in any danger by adding this aesthetically appealing, but often unpredictable surface to your regimen.

At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum treats numerous patients that prefer to get their exercise near the sea rather than in a gym. And although he’s not against the idea of running on the beach, he does recommend caution before kicking off your shoes and hitting the shore.

“I always tells my patients to be mindful of their surrounding before they run on the beach,” said Dr. Goldbaum, who has offices in Delray Beach and Boynton Beach, Fla. “Although there can be many fitness benefits to running on the sand, there are also numerous threats to not only the health of your feet, but also your hips and back as well. If done properly, however, it can be a great workout.”

A Podiatrist’s Tips for Running on the Beach

Low Tide

It’s best to run at the lowest tide of the day or as close to that time as possible. It’s best to run as close as you can to the ocean without actually having any sort of splash in your step. The main benefit of running at low tide is the fact that the sand is hard, yet forgiving. It’s the closest you’ll get to a man-made surface and while still being able to enjoy the view of a sunset on the horizon!

High Tide

If you can’t make it in time for a low-tide run, a run in the deep sand at high tide provides its own set of benefits. This soft sand is extremely unforgiving compared to the flat surface created by low tide and will give your legs quite a workout. A short workout in deep sand is a great way to get your legs to feel the burn without being outside long enough to put yourself at risk of a far less desirable burn — a sunburn.

*You can typically find high/low tide times in your local newspaper or on the Internet.

The Slanted Sand

A unique feature of the beach is the natural slant that you will be running up and down as your traverse the coast. Unfortunately, running on angle can be terrible for your back, knees and hips. In order to limit the strain placed on these body parts, Dr. Goldbaum recommends splitting up your run so that you run equal amounts on both sides of the slanted sand, thus spreading out the pressure on your joints and back.

“When you’re running on a slanted surface, the pelvis has to shift to make up for the leg-length discrepancy,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “This can cause pain in the lower back or exacerbate the pain of people who already suffering from any form of back or pelvic pain.”

Watch Where You’re Walking

If you are choosing to run barefoot on the beach like so many others do, it’s also important to be aware of the perils that lurk both above and beneath the sand. From sea critters to man-made hazards, your eyes must always be open to spot danger ahead.

If you step on a man-o-war, you’re going to feel it, and it’s not great,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “I’d also recommend wearing water shoes or something similar in order to avoid cutting your feet on sharp objects such as shells, rocks or glass.”

Follow Delray Beach Podiatry on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472



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