Does it matter where you walk? It might. Walking on sand can improve your fitness. In 2009 results published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, two groups of women aged 60+ were followed for an eight-week study. Half of the women walked on a hard surface, while half walked in soft sand.
While both groups saw improvements in their HDL levels, fitness and strength, the sand group saw greater improvements, particularly in the important area of hip strength.
The study was based on a small group and would require additional examination of larger populations, but suggests that a long walk on the beach can offer more than just relaxation.