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5 Reasons to Stay Near the Ocean for Your Health

5 Reasons to Stay Near the Ocean for Your Health

For anyone who has spent time by the sea, you already know that it does something to your body, mind and soul. Some of us are even more connected and we thrive in life the closer we are to the sea’s edge. There are health benefits to being near the ocean that are often unexplainable, it’s the magic of the sea. The sand, the surf and the sun keep us outdoors which is always good for the heart and soul. As I write this, I’m sitting on the balcony of my beach bungalow in the tropics. I go to sleep and wake up to the sounds of waves crashing as the sun rises above the water. My skin is soft, my mind is at peace and I am more productive. It seems that only the ocean gives me this new found energy and passion for living.

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    Allows You to Just “Be”

    Many people find themselves in a trance as they watch and listen to ocean waves. It’s effortless meditation and your thoughts are taken out to sea. There is a feeling of comfort that the ocean gives us and allows us to just sit with our own self. We are more relaxed so we can let go of our desire to please the people around us. Letting ourselves hang around and do nothing but enjoy our surroundings is an act in itself.

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      Allows You to Relax

      Stress is a major cause of illness in our society. The ocean has a way of deeply relaxing us and bringing us back to earth. Sitting in the sand while you watch and listen to waves crashing gives us a sense of bliss and peace. We stop trying to problem-solve and live in the very moment we are in. Everything slows down near the beach. The restaurants, shops and surrounding environment promote slow and intentional steps instead of the usual running around we face in our normal lives. We let go of shoulder tension and look at life in a different way.

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        Deeply Cleansing for Body and Soul

        For the body, mind and spirit the ocean offers many cleansing qualities. The salty sea air allows us to breathe in clean, pure breaths into our lungs. As we swim in the salt water, our skin is revived. Taking a walk on the long sandy beach barefoot is an overall rejuvenation and gives our feet a natural scrub. A little extra exfoliating with the sand bed while you play in the water rejuvenates and smoothes our skin. To smell the sea and hear the waves while you sit on the warm sand is deeply cleansing for the soul.

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          Easy Meditation

          One of the easiest guided meditations online involve ocean waves. To imagine the clean water coming into our body and taking all of the negativity out to sea is a powerful visualization. Breathing to the beat of the waves crashing in and going back out to sea is a means to understanding and accepting impermanence. The ocean is in constant motion without effort but with power. This is highly inspiring for meditation.

          A Great Sleep Every Night

          If we stay by the ocean, we are able to listen to the waves crash onto the beach in their gentle and perfectly spaced way. This white noise offers a soothing and relaxing lullaby to put us into a deep sleep. We are relaxed so our sleep is deep, and often dreams come up and problems are solved. Maybe it’s the ocean or maybe it’s the product of what the ocean does for our souls. We don’t sleep in and our body and mind wake up totally refreshed and well rested.


          Featured photo credit: Man Traveler sitting on beach seaside looking on sea waves summer vacations Lifestyle concept via shutterstock.com

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          Last Updated on May 22, 2019

          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

          There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

          One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

          In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

          Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

          1. Cat Camel Stretch

          Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

          Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

          Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

          Here’s a video to guide you through:

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          2. Go for a Walk or a Run

          This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

          Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

          The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

          Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

          Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

          3. Jumping Jacks

          Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

          Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

          4. Abductor Side Lifts

          Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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          Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

          5. Balancing Table Pose

          This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

          Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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            6. Leg Squats

            Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

            Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

            The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

            7. Push Ups

            You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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            An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

            Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

            This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

            8. Bicycle Crunches

            There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

            Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

            9. Lunges

            Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

            Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

            This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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            10. Bicep Curls

            You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

            Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

            Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

            Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

            Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

            These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

            You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

            Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

            More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

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