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Why Going to the Beach Is Healthy

Learn 13 reasons why doctors think it’s healthy to spend some time at the seashore.

Do you need a trip to the shore? There are times in life when one of the healthiest things that you can possibly do is to leave your problems behind for a few days and take a vacation at the beach. A beach escape will enable you to recharge mentally, emotionally, and physically. Here are examples of some health benefits you can receive from taking a trip to the ocean.

  • Fresh air. Nothing beats the outdoors for that rush of fresh air to fill your lungs. The beach with its refreshing sea breeze can invigorate you and have you feeling energized. Oxygen concentrations at sea level make it easier for your lungs to receive oxygen and transfer into your blood stream. The salt air near the ocean has many health benefits. The salt acts as a healing agent, cleansing the airways and sinuses. Salt also kills certain types of harmful bacteria and can neutralize allergens.

  • Putting your feet in the sand. Wriggling your toes in soft sand can feel much like a foot massage. As you move your feet through sand, the granules of sand gently rub against your skin. This can relax tired feet and improves blood flow in the feet and legs. Walking on sand feels calming. The tiny particles of sand stimulate special touch receptors inside the skin. After your feet have been confined inside shoes every day, removing your shoes and allowing your bare feet to touch the sand can be soothing for your feet and also for your psyche.

  • Sounds of nature. There are reasons why people pay money to order videos, CDs, and apps that let you enjoy the sounds of the ocean. Hearing the calming crash of the waves and the breeze moving across the water promotes feelings of peace. While at the beach, you hear consistent sounds that create a type of white noise. Even the sound of seagulls flying overhead can be quite therapeutic. This helps you to relax your thoughts while you experience a close bond with nature.

  • Away from home stress and work stress. Sometimes you need to physically get away from office meetings, stressful phone calls, parent-teacher meetings, sports practice, demanding deadlines, and traffic during your daily commute. You can leave the hectic schedule behind for a few days, and give your body and mind a break. The beach is the place where outside responsibilities can fade away into the sound of the waves.

  • The benefit of solitude. You can set aside some time at the beach to just be alone with the sand and surf. When you are alone with your thoughts, with few outside distractions, you can rest and recharge. Sometimes solitude is required for reflection and problem-solving. Your thoughts often become clearer after you spend some time relaxing by yourself. Restful solitude helps your body’s physiology. It is good for your heart, digestion, and immune system.

  • Relaxing with loved ones. After you have spent some quality time resting by yourself and recharging, the next best thing is to make some memories with family and friends. You can walk along the beach together, build a sand castle, participate in water sports, go fishing, take a sailboat ride, or enjoy an eclectic local seafood restaurant. Spend less time taking pictures and more time living in the moment. The emotional connections that we make with loved ones are very important. They strengthen and sustain a deep inner part of us.

  • Vitamin D. Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D. It is much healthier to acquire this essential vitamin from being outside in the sun, than to try to obtain it from artificial means. Vitamin D is essential for immune function, healthy teeth, and bone growth. Vitamin D is also important for mental health and for reducing depression.

  • Going for walks. Walking provides numerous health benefits, such as improved circulation, heart fitness, improved blood pressure, better balance, and increased mobility of skeletal joints. When you take a walk along the seashore, you also have the added bonus of being in a relaxing, scenic location. You can walk with your feet in the soft sand, or with your feet in the water. Many people find that they drift off to sleep easier mat night if they took a walk earlier in the day.

  • Water sports. Depending upon what beach you visit, you may be able to participate in different types of water sports and activities. Some beaches are excellent for wind surfing and sailing. Others offer great kayaking through nearby waterways. Southern beaches boast diving and snorkeling opportunities. Many times you can play beach volleyball in the sand. You can always swim. Every one of these activities is healthy for your cardiovascular system. They also improve muscle tone and help with digestion.

  • Ocean climate. Do you live in a cold part of the country? Many people enjoy travelling to a warm beach when the temperatures in their area have dropped. People also like to visit a tropical climate to “thaw out” toward the end of a particularly long winter. When it is too cold to go outdoors, escaping to a warm beach provides the opportunity to enjoy being outside in a more comfortable location.

  • Rest / take a nap. Sometimes to get rest all you need to do is change your location. The beach is the perfect location to accomplish a restful experience. The beach provides the peace and solitude that is needed to gain the relaxation that your body and mind desperately require. Lounging on the beach and taking a nap can help you feel rejuvenated.

  • Let your mind unwind. When you are on holiday at the shore, your mind doesn’t need to be continually thinking about projects, meetings, or deadlines. You can give deep thinking a break and just let your mind wander.

  • Take a break from technology. Sometimes you simply need a digital detox. Hide the electronics for several hours (or days) and go fishing, watch boats on the water, or read a book that has actual paper pages. Our society spends so much time staring at digital displays and being exposed to electronic radiation, that it is necessary sometimes to get away from phones, electronic tablets, laptops, and console games. Connect with the beach instead of the internet.

Taking a vacation at warm, inviting beach is fantastic for your overall health. If it has been a long time since you have last visited the ocean, consider scheduling a future vacation at the shore. [Special Note: during the writing of this article, the doctor writing it was at the beach.]

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