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.
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.
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.
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.