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Sand Running: Bad for Your Knees?

Dec 6, 2010

Sand running is an alternative to running on pavement or other harder surfaces. Recently, more people are trying it out as an alternative because of its purported benefits. However, some people have raised questions about particularly harmful effects from running on the sand, such as developing problems with your knees. Yet, there are others who say that running on sand is actually good for parts of your body.

Benefits

Sand running is already an inviting activity to pursue on those nice summer days when you are at the beach and have no use for shoes. While it is harder than running on a firm and flat surface like pavement, running on sand is a helpful workout for any runner. Because of how your muscles need to compensate when running on sand, you are increasing the strength of your ankles, muscles and arches just below your knee. Another benefit is that you will develop more power in your lower legs than if you were running on a harder surface.

What about Your Knees?

Your knees are not affected hurtfully if you run on sand; the only part of your body that may be aggravated due to the increased stress of this activity is your Achilles tendon. The reason for this is the nature of the sand you are running on: The sand features a surface which is harder to push off of with each running step, resulting in a more difficult time and stress on your tendon. Some people have reported actually developing full-on tendonitis from sand running more than just one time each week. So don't worry about your knees, but be careful about stressing out your Achilles tendon.

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