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Even Though You’re Not A Beach Person, You’ll Want A Beach Vacation Right After Reading This

Even Though You’re Not A Beach Person, You’ll Want A Beach Vacation Right After Reading This

When it comes to choosing the perfect vacation spot people usually look for something that is relaxing, something that can soothe the mind and nourish the body. After all we only have a little time to pamper ourselves and relax before we have to get back to the salt mines, so picking the right destination is very important. One of the most popular options is a vacation on the beach, and it’s not just about all the scantily dressed people walking around! Not only do we get to strip ourselves of the constraints of the modern age – i.e., clothes, obligations and formality – but we also get plenty of sun and exercise. According to science, all these factors are incredibly beneficial to our physical health as well as our mental well-being. You just don’t get the same benefits from other places. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the ways that a vacation at the beach can benefit your overall health.

1. The sandy beach and clear water is one of the most serene sights imaginable

Beach in Bali

    When people are first taught to control their emotions, apart from proper breathing techniques they are often told to visualize a calm environment, a serene scene from nature. It is usually a beautiful sandy beach with waves slowly crashing into the rocks and palm trees being caressed by the gentle wind. The kind of scene you would find in Bottom Bay, Barbados. If you close your eyes and think hard about such a location, you will soon start to feel a wave of good feelings come over you. That is how powerful an effect nature can have on us. I mean, chances are a good percentage of people reading this have a similar beach as their desktop image.

    Experiencing the real thing can be 1,000 times more powerful, as the different sensations wash over you – the warm sun on the skin, the wet sand on your feet, the smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves, the clear sky and stars at night … A beach vacation will calm your nerves and help you let go of all that pent up stress.

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    2. The sunlight and warm weather will improve your mood by boosting serotonin

    sunshine on a beach

      While we are on the subject of mood, ever notice the huge smiles on the faces of people living by the sunny seaside? Are you aware that there is such a thing as winter depression, where people fall into depression during the cold months when there is barely any sun during the day and the nights are longer? Where am I going with this? Well, it’s a proven fact that physical activity can help with depression, alleviating the symptoms somewhat, but exposure to sunlight has also been shown to noticeably increase serotonin levels too.

      At the beach you get plenty of sun exposure, combined with the soothing environment and a boost of physical activity from all the swimming and the clichéd long walks along the beach – provided, of course, you have a long enough stretch of sand like in Falassarna Beach, Crete. You may or may not get an additional boost of serotonin if you run across a beach straight into your lover’s warm embrace while dressed in all white. No studies have been done on that, so I’m just going to go ahead and assume that Hollywood was right all along.

      3. There are plenty of activities that challenge you physically

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      activities on the beach

        Most people hardly move in the city, let alone find the time for some serious physical activity. The beautiful thing about the beach is that even just walking in the sand will require a bit of effort, and you will be tempted to swim for a good part of the day. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise as there is no hard impact and high levels of pressure being put on the joints, and it gets virtually every muscle in your body working. Switch between a couple of different swimming styles for a couple of hours and you’ve pretty much exercised your entire body. Some diving will improve your lung capacity too. Some locations like Long Beach have excellent hiking trails nearby, so you can combine two great forms of exercise and see some breath-taking sites.

        4. Being away from civilization allows you to focus on bonding and stimulating the mind

        Bonfire at the beach

          We are always in some sort of a rush and under all sorts of pressure in the city. There are just too many people, noise and electronics. Even at home we are bombarded by emails, messages and phone calls; that is, when we are not staring at a screen for entertainment. At the beach there may still be a bit of a crowd, but the people there are trying to have fun and bond in a very tech-free way. Going back to our roots and interacting with people the old school way – i.e., face to face – can be a breath of fresh air, especially when we have no obligations or strict social norms.

          Many popular tourist destinations, like Bali, have a number of interesting retreats where this form of free socializing is encouraged. You can meet new people, learn about the local culture and receive singing lessons or take the time to learn some other skill. This way your mind is kept sharp, you learn something new and you gain new friends, which will boost your confidence and make you more positive.

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          5. You get tons of vitamin D that you wouldn’t get normally

          Taking in the sun

            Apart from the sweet, sweet serotonin, all that sun will also provide you with a good deal of vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for healthy bones, lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and keeping a strong immune system. The body synthesizes vitamin D through sun exposure, although you can get it from some foods, mostly modern products like vitamin D fortified eggs and milk. We don’t get nearly enough sun exposure in our regular life, especially in northern climates. A good way to make up for this is to spend some time at a beach like Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, where the temperatures change very little throughout the year and you get plenty of sun, but not too much heat.

            6. The sea water and air are great for your respiratory system

            Happy woman breathing deep fresh air on the beach

              Sea water will get into your nose, eyes and mouth as you swim, it can be a bit irritating but it is inevitable. Well, it can also be a good thing as it clears out you airways and is particularly beneficial for people with allergies and sinus problems. It doesn’t irritate the lining of the respiratory system and helps wash out any allergens. The sea salt present in the air near the sea or ocean in tiny particle form can help alleviate the symptoms of a number of pulmonary diseases including bronchitis.

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              7. The sand and salt water will do wonders for your skin

              White sand and crystal clear water

                The salty waters of seas and oceans are antiseptic and may help heal wounds, and several studies have shown them to be beneficial in curing skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema brought on by allergies. Sea water also contains high amounts of magnesium, which helps the skin stay moisturized for longer. A lot of the studies on these matters where done in the Dead Sea, but even waters with a lower salt content have these healing properties. The salt and sand also serve as excellent exfoliators, peeling away dead skin and keeping your body soft and smooth.

                A short beach vacation is as good as a spa treatment for your skin, more potent in improving mental health than some drugs, and excellent way to get your body in shape. It’s great for meeting new people and self-improvement and highly beneficial to your physical health. Taking a beach vacation is a great experience, and unlike anything else when it comes to maintaining a healthy body and mind.

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                Ivan Dimitrijevic

                Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

                Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

                Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

                1. Stress Eating

                I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

                While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

                I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

                If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

                How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

                2. Nail Biting

                Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

                People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

                Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

                For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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                3. Hanging out with Naysayers

                We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

                Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

                Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

                4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

                Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

                While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

                Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

                Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

                5. Smoking

                Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

                In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

                Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

                Smoking risks

                  6. Excessive Drinking

                  All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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                  According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                  • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                  • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                  • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                  • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                  • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                  If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                  If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                  7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                  Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                  If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                  A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                  “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                  And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                  While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                  Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                  Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                  8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                  There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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                  In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                  Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                  Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                  9. Watching Too Much TV

                  I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                  Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                  Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                  It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                  10. Being Late

                  Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                  Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                  Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                  11. Being in Bad Relationships

                  Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                  I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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                  Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                  12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                  Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                  Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                  Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                  By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                  Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                  13. Focusing on the Negatives

                  In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                  Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                  Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                  And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                  The Bottom Line

                  So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                  Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                  Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                  Reference

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