The tide is dropping as the sun is rising. The sand is free of footprints and freshly packed by the retreat of the sea. The air is cool and thick with salt. Your toes grip the damp grains as if silently saluting the day. North or south is the only decision you have to make now.

Henry David Thoreau believed that “an early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Playa Grande is the perfect beach to saunter along barefoot, especially at a lower tide. It is around 4 kilometers/2.5 miles long, and if you want to go even further you can continue north and walk the length of Playa Ventanas and over to Playa Carbón.  Taking a barefoot beach walk while you are staying in Playa Grande is something you should definitely treat yourself too often. The benefits of walking barefoot in the sand are quite powerful and even life-changing.

Strengthening, slimming, and stabilizing

Walking on the beach is actually great for strength training. It takes you more than double the amount of energy to walk on the sand than it does to walk the same distance on a hard surface. Walking in the sand really targets your calves, quadriceps, and glutes. You also burn double the number of calories! Walking on uneven and soft terrain also forces you to engage your abs more in order to keep your body stabilized. Doing this often will help improve your overall balance and core strength.

Playa Grande sunset in Costa Rica

Dreamy backdrop for a long stroll in the sand | Jenn Parker

Moving meditation

Talking a long stroll on the beach is often very meditative. Between the sound of the waves crashing on the shoreline, the soft crunch of each step that you take, the song of the sea birds, and the aesthetic coastal landscape, a long walk often induces a meditative-like state. For some, this is their preferred form of meditation. The benefits of a moving meditation include stress and anxiety relief, present mindfulness, improved sleep quality, better focus and memory, an overall feeling of peace and joy, and a deeper connection to the self.

Bahia Piratas, Costa Rica

A different day, a different beach | Jenn Parker

Earthing on the beach

Earthing is basically the practice of making a skin to earth connection. The best way to do this is by going barefoot. According to Yogapedia, “with this connection to the Earth, the body takes in free electrons, which are believed to serve as antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that block oxidation of other molecules, preventing the development of free radicals, which harm the body.”

The benefits of this skin to earth connection have been studied and it has been reported that earthing can help reduce inflammation, improve circulation, reduce toxins in the body, promote healing, reduce stress, increase energy, relieve muscle tension and headaches, improve sleep, and normalize the body’s biological rhythms.

RipJack Inn, Playa Grande, Costa Rica

Each step leaves a signature of a second far gone | Jenn Parker

The benefits of spending time outdoors, surrounded by nature, and next to the sea are often very personal, as well as abundant. Take advantage of being just steps from the beach by taking a lot of steps on the beach while in Playa Grande. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you graciously.