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People Hitting The Beach Often Are Healthier, Here’s Why

People Hitting The Beach Often Are Healthier, Here’s Why

When inland people plan a relaxing vacation for de-stressing, they usually pick the beach. Studies show the beach really is the best place to be, because of the myriad health benefits the sun, sand, surf and simple ambience it offers.

In fact, a study conducted in the United Kingdom found that people who lived closer to the coast were healthier and happier in general. Conducted by researchers Benedict W. Wheeler, Mathew White, Will Stahl-Timmins and Michael H. Depledge, the study shows that both “green space,” or grassy areas, and “blue space,” or waterways, combined had the ultimate mental, spiritual and healing powers. Here are other ways in which you can benefit from some time at the beach, whether it’s for relaxation, physical exercise or a good ol’ dose of healthy and natural Vitamin D.

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1. Ambience Environment Restores Your Peace Within

Studies show that natural environments, like the beach, waterfront parks and other similar areas extend nourishing and restorative benefits to people than options in urban areas, like gyms and entertainment outlets, said environmental health expert J. Aaron Hipp. In Hipp’s study, he focused on the beach and said that mild temperature days and low tides in particular offer the most restorative benefits. The study showed that beachgoers who visited on a day that was at least three degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average were 30 percent less likely to view their trip to the beach or coastal area as restorative.

2. Beachfront Exercises Burns More Calories

Running or walking on sand for exercise burns more calories versus doing the same motions on a hard surface. Walking on sand actually requires almost three times more energy than walking on a hard surface at the same speed, according to a study in the Journal of Experimental Biology. Plus, if you go for a dip in the ocean, swimming against the waves burns more calories than if you swam in a pool.

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3. Water Reduces Your Stress Level

Simply sitting on the beach without electronic devices helps reduce stress levels. A study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden shows that staying plugged in 24-7 has been associated with stress, depression and a loss of sleep. Meredith F. Small, an anthropologist at Cornell University, notes that it’s human nature to be drawn toward the therapeutic effects of water. In fact, long ago, doctors prescribed treatments at “bathing hospitals” or special clinics that administered seawater bath treatments.

4. Natural Sunlight Supplements Vitamin D In Your Body

Too much sun exposure can be a concern, but the right length of time spent in the sun while wearing sunscreen will boost your Vitamin D levels, which subsequently helps with calcium absorption and builds strong bones. The Vitamin D Council notes that in the amount of time it takes for the skin to turn pink, the body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D.

5. Sunshine Peps You Up

Healthy sun exposure also offers the body other benefits one study shows, including an upswing in endorphins–those feel-good chemicals.

6. Tickling Your Toes In The Sand Strengthens Your Feet Muscles

Walking barefoot in the sand stimulates the nerve endings in your feet as opposed to walking around in shoes. You also strengthen the muscles in your feet when barefoot in the sand. Doctors point out that there are between 3,000 and 7,000 nerve endings in each foot that are heightened when you expose those feet to sand.

7. Sand Naturally Exfoliates Your Feet

Sand is a wonderful natural exfoliant and simply walking near the water where the sand is loose and can wash over your feet means you just stand there and reap the health benefits of renewed skin.

8. Minerals Gives You Better Skin And Relieves Arthritis

Sea water consists of several minerals, such as magnesium, potassium and iodine, all which offer several health benefits, such as fighting infection and detoxification. These minerals also help reverse the decline in your skin’s elasticity. In fact, you’ll find tons of over the counter skin care products that contain these same minerals. These same minerals also help reduce the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis who used bath salts made with minerals from the Dead Sea enjoyed fewer symptoms.

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So the next time you are needing a getaway or weekend retreat, book a trip to the beach and reap the many health benefits awaiting you.

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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