Beach Walking

These feet are made for walking – Beach Part 1

Today we are going to talk about walking. 
Yes, walking. 
That movement you perform on a daily basis.

Whether it is a means of exercise, a form of transport, a social outing, walking is great exercise, and can have a positive impact on our general and mental wellbeing.

Now is a great time to get out and walk, ensuring we maintain social distancing requirements.
However, not all walking is the same.

Beach walking and foot and ankle problems

Walking along the beach is one of life’s simple pleasures and we are fortunate enough to be living along some of the world’s most beautiful stretches of coastline.

However, beach walking can play havoc on vulnerable feet ankles.
The sand can be hard packed, or very soft and uneven. 
Particularly when swimming in the surf, the beach can be unpredictable. The combination of waves crashing into shore with great force, and the uneven surface underneath the water, which is frequently changing, creates a challenging scenario, particularly for those dealing with foot, knee and ankle issues.

Easy does it

If you have an acutely inflamed painful foot or ankle, for example very painful plantar fasciitis or insertional Achilles tendinopathy, then limited walking is for you. 
If you are recently recovering from injury or surgery, then this is also your category. 
This includes a recent ankle sprain.
It is best to:

  • Concentrate initially on your rehabilitation exercises first.
  • Then slowly reintroduce other forms of low impact exercise.
  • Examples are stationary bike or walking in a pool.
  • Remember, we don’t want to make the pain worse, or risk re-injury.

A great place to start walking in Byron is at the Byron Bay pool, right by the beach. You can then take a short walk along the beach front on the pathway.

For those on the Gold Coast, the Broadwater Parklands is the perfect start. Take a swim in the beautiful pool then walk along the pathway, taking in the beautiful views across to the Marina and Surfer’s Paradise. Other options include Broadbeach and Mermaid beach walkways.

Swing it sister

If your pain is less intense, or you are further along your recovery period after surgery or recent injury, then you should be managing to slowly introduce and increase more walking into your exercise regime. It is best to start with a pathway along the beach.

  • Ensure you wear supportive footwear. A good example are the Hoka One One shoes, which are well cushioned and have a rocker sole.
  • Begin with flat walking, then gradually increase inclines and stairs.
  • Gradually increase duration and distance each week.
  • Often it is better to go for shorter walks more frequently.

A suitable walk for this group is the Three Sisters Walk . Starting at Broken Head car park, this beautiful walk is 1.6km return (you can do a smaller section if needed), and features a well-formed track and occasional steps.

Gold Coast walkers can try
Tallebudgera Creek Conservation walk, a 1.6km walk. Suitable for moderate fitness levels, the walk includes bitumen, a 250-metre boardwalk over the water, a mix of flat and uneven level tracks and some stairs. Another great option is Coolangatta to Point Danger, a 2km stretch. Perhaps catch the sunset and a cold drink on this one.

If you have any concerns, please contact us –

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