Travelers today are looking for a wide range of adventures. Some even seek out opportunities to push themselves physically, either in organized events or solo “extreme travel” pursuits. Many more simply want to get a little exercise while on vacation, “blow off steam” or develop some new, healthy habits. Should your trip to the beaches of Sanibel Island be considered a healthy choice?

On the Beach

Sunbathing has been both praised and demonized over the generations since the Island Inn opened in 1895. Today, most doctors agree that 15-30 minutes of exposure to sunlight daily is considered safe and healthy for most people, providing the most effective source of vitamin D that the body can use to maintain healthy bones and teeth. Too much of a good thing, however, is no good. We always encourage our guests to use their best judgment when deciding how and when to apply sunscreen.

Walking barefoot on the beach is so appealing, we’re pretty sure people would do it even if it were bad for them! Luckily, there are many health benefits from this activity, even beyond the general advantages of walking. Walking on sand challenges the balance center in the brain, strengthens the ankle and lower leg and gives the stabilizer core muscles a workout. The foot massage you get from the sand is just a bonus, as is the relaxed smile after a stroll along Sanibel’s picturesque coast.

In the Water

Swimming is excellent exercise choice for people of all ages, providing smooth resistance to build muscle and bone mass while offering a cardio boost. Whether you’re training for a triathlon or splashing around with the kids, there are few total-body workouts that compare to swimming. The warm, calm waters of Sanibel’s shoreline also make a great vantage point to enjoy the island from a different perspective.

Kayaks and Paddleboards, available for rent from Island Inn, offer fantastic exercise, even if exercise is not the objective! The pulling motion of paddling a kayak or paddleboard strengthens the muscles of the upper back and your core; it’s like physical therapy, but with an amazing view!

Around Sanibel

Bicycle riding is one of the most popular activities on Sanibel Island. Like kayaking, most people pedaling bikes around the island are doing it for fun, not for the many health benefits of riding. With an established civic commitment to bike and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, cyclists enjoy easy access to all parts of the island via bike lanes and miles of dedicated bike paths. At just 12 miles from tip to tip, and with no hills to climb, Sanibel and Captiva are fully accessible to cyclists of every fitness level.