5 Health Reasons To Hit The Beach
Aaahh, the sound of the ocean. The warmth of the sun. I have been a West Coast girl my whole life with only a couple of stints elsewhere—outside Chicago when I was 4 and a year in Boston when I was 21. Holidays are often spent at my parent’s beach house on the Oregon coast. It’s one of my favorite places – every time I spend time there I feel restored. What is it about the beach that is so incredibly restorative? It’s not just the beauty of the waves hitting the sand. There’s something more isn’t there? As I did a bit of research to find out what it is that has us pulled to the ocean’s shore, I found a few ways the beach benefits us that may be the reason.
- The Sun
As I have said in previous posts, we get our vitamin D from the sun and it has huge health benefits. It is helpful for our bones, muscles, cardiovascular system and plays a big part in fighting cancer. Plus the sun makes us happier—light actually releases serotonin, the happy hormone, in our brains.
- The Sand
Not only can the sand be a great exfoliator for our skin, sloughing off dead skin cells, but another benefit is in our muscles. Going barefoot on the sand and its shifting nature creates resistance for the muscles in our feet and legs and making them work harder, giving us more of a workout.
- The Sea
We humans are made up of 60-80% salt water so that may be reason enough why we are drawn to submerge our bodies in pools of the stuff. Sea water is rich in minerals that help our bodies detoxify, heal wounds, and reduce infection.
- The Waves
There is something very soothing about the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Researchers are finding that it has a meditative affect on our brains and is indeed relaxing. Not only that, but people are also relaxed by watching the rhythmic movement of the water and the waves.
- The Perspective
Nothing like the vastness of endless water on the horizon to make our problems feel small and puts The Big Picture in perspective. We are just little beings on a little planet in a huge universe.
The only two spiritual experiences I have had happened at the ocean’s shore. I wrote about them in my book WTF?! I Have Cancer? and in a more succinct story in the just released compilation book Modern Heroine Soul Stories. These were powerful, life changing experiences for me and I invite you to read about them.
Tell me in the comments below which of these reasons compels you to hit the beach. I do hope you get a chance to spend some time at the beach this summer. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you.