Have you ever wondered why you get that feeling of total euphoria and relaxation as soon as you step out onto a sandy beach? Studies show that spending time near the ocean is not only a relaxing break from your daily routine, but that it’s actually good for your health! As if I needed another excuse to take a vacation?! Sit back, grab a beverage, and fantasize about your next vacation, while I fill you in about how a trip to the beach is good for your health!
The ocean is a vast, mysterious, body that beckons humans all over the world. In fact, it is so large that there is more ocean than there is land, and even our most intricate technology is unable to explore its entirety! There’s no doubt that the ocean is a wonder to behold. However, it is not only a breathtaking sight, but has also shown to have curative effects.
Scientists have discovered that our brain is hard-wired to react positively to water. Water has been proven to have a calming effect on our minds, which aids in our overall mental health and happiness. This is why being in the water, or even just watching and listening to water nearby is good for our health. It gives our mind a rest from over stimulation, and allows us to rejuvenate.
The ocean is also said to improve empathy. As you gaze out at a seemingly never-ending horizon you feel as if the world is much bigger than yourself. You also feel much more connected to the world around you, which can give you a rich bond with those you spend time in the ocean alongside.
Salt water has lots of magnesium. Magnesium is the fourth most common element in our bodies, and it’s needed to help us with important bodily functions like blood circulation, muscle functioning, and nutrient metabolism. The magnesium is absorbed through our skin and helps with all of these things. I have also experienced firsthand how salt water can heal acne, and clear your skin! The nutrients aid in healing your skin, and even help relax sore and tired muscles. The ocean also has “anti-aging minerals.” Basically, it has qualities that tighten your skin, and prevent sagging!
Every beach trip I also make an effort to rinse my mouth out with sea water. Sea water is fantastic for your gums. This is why popular toothpaste companies like Colgate incorporate sea salt in their products!
How can sand help you stay healthy? Well, it’s a natural exfoliant! Try walking around barefoot in the sand for a few days and then feel how baby smooth your feet become! The sand naturally peels off dead skin cells from your feet. Walking around in the sand can also help you stay fit! Have you ever noticed how much more difficult it is to walk in sand than on the typical ground? The grains of the sand are so inconsistent which makes your body work harder as you step over it. Evidence suggests you can burn up to 50 more calories walking in the sand than walking on pavement.
I have also noticed that I tend to run further distances when I’m running on sand at the beach. (I usually run on the sand that is right along the shore though.) This is because the calming effects of the ocean make it easier for you to relax and your mind to wander, and you’re less focused on the difficulty of the exercise! This is why I’m able to easily run six miles on the beach, whereas I struggle around 2.5 or 3 miles at home.
There is also something called “the grounding effect.” This describes the surge of healing electrons we receive from walking on the actual earth. This includes dirt, grass, and you guessed it– sand. Our bodies crave that connection to the earth. The earth has a slightly negative charge which helps to balance out our bodies. This helps give us a boost of natural healing.
Similarly to the sand, sea breeze produces negative ions, and our bodies are constantly exposed to positive ions from power lines, electronic devices, and equipment. This is harmful exposure and can lead to faster body aging, and even cancer. The negative ions help counteract this. Sea breeze also offers a calming and relaxing effect. There is nothing quite like feeling the breeze through your hair as you look out at the horizon. The ocean air and the ocean itself boost our feel-good endorphins like serotonin! We need to relax and enjoy our lives and the beach helps us do this naturally.
The sun is hugely responsible for our serotonin levels as well! Sunshine helps cure depression, and improve our general moods. In fact, most people experience depression in the winter, because there is a lack of sunlight. Exposure to the sun’s rays also gives our body Vitamin D! This helps you have healthy bones! While too much exposure can lead to skin cancer, some exposure has actually shown to be preventative to certain cancers. These cancers include colon cancer, lymphoma, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer. Natural sunlight can also treat certain skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema!
The Beach Makes You Feel Happy
Perhaps the most important benefit of all is that the beach contributes to your overall happiness. There is a reason you feel so good when you’re on vacation. You get to relax, spend time with loved ones, and feel the natural environment around you. It’s no wonder that so many resorts are positioned on the beach, and that so many people choose these locations for their vacations!