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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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