The Surprising Perks of Beach Living
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The “endless summer,” a notion we all dream of and very few get to live… In the real world, doing nothing but the things we love all the time is merely a utopia. But that doesn’t mean we cannot do something to bring summer and the beach into our everyday lives.
The beach environment is relaxing, that’s no newsflash. But does it have an impact on our health as well? Yes, it does, even more than you might have thought! I remember when I was little and my grandparents used to tell me they would have loved to spend more time at the beach because it was so good for their health. As it turns out, they were right.
Have you ever considered a year-round beach life? Here are some reasons that might convince you to make the beach your next home.
Physical and mental health benefits
Doctors have been prescribing trips to the seashore ever since the 18th century. We all took it for granted, but it wasn’t until recently that researchers began to look into the matter.
Studies suggest that being exposed to the ocean might be a form of therapy in itself. An extra dash of sun on your bare skin every day is good for your immune system and bones.
Sun exposure offers a good dose of vitamin D. Sun-produced vitamin D boosts endorphin levels and lowers the risk of cancer. That is, of course, if you don’t forget to apply the appropriate sunscreen in the right amounts because studies have shown that sunscreen does not interfere with vitamin D absorption.
The salty sea air has great benefits for the respiratory system. Those suffering from asthma or bronchitis will see significant improvements. Plus, the ocean air helps our bodies absorb more oxygen and balances our serotonin levels, which means more energy for us!
There’s nothing quite as relaxing as digging your toes into the sand. And there’s a good explanation for it too. Sand is a naturally occurring substance, and walking barefoot on it gets us closer to the earth’s energy. When we realize that we have more nerve endings per square centimeter on our feet than anywhere else on our body, this begins to make sense.
A natural sleep aid
Between 50 and 70 million people in the US suffer from sleep disorders. The good news is that ocean saltwater might be an efficient and, most importantly, natural cure. The high levels of magnesium in seawater relax the muscles, induce sleep and improve its quality.
It’s common knowledge that the sound of the waves splashing onto the shore is soothing. This is due to its equal intensity and different frequencies, which make it a white noise that helps you sleep and stay asleep, as well as meditate and relax. Listening to the sound of waves before going to bed has a significant impact on the quality of sleep.
Interested in chemistry? Find out what makes surfing so addictive.
Mental clarity and enhanced creativity
The sea has provided a source of inspiration for some of history’s greatest artists. We can sit down by the ocean or a riverbank for hours. If we were anywhere else, we would probably get bored straight away, but not here. This is because water induces a meditative state of mind we might not even be aware of. We are calmer and more relaxed, while at the same time becoming more aware of what is happening around us. Our mind is focused. This means less stress and anxiety, better sleep and mental clarity.
Living our hectic lives in these busy times does not allow our mind to wander off. It’s important to switch off every once in a while, allowing our mind to enter its default mode. This is the moment when our brain apparently does nothing. It is also when we get the best ideas. The sea, with its splashing waves, helps our mind slip into this state.
Curious to know why surfing feels so good? Find out what happens in your brain when you surf.
An abundance of outdoor activities
It’s official! A study by the University of Exeter Medical School shows that the seaside environment stimulates physical activity.
Exercising outside, wherever this may be, is excellent for our physical and mental health. It’s not just the fresh air, but also the environment that helps. How can we even begin to compare a crowded gym with the tranquility and silence of nature? Exercising by the beach appears to have even greater benefits. Since water relaxes us, we will get more out of our workout.
Take your yoga practice outdoors, hop on your bike, go jogging on the beach, go surfing, or take an evening stroll on the beach. Walking barefoot on the sand will tone your muscles, as it requires two times more energy than on a stable surface.
Of course, we cannot mention outdoor activities without paying a special tribute to the watersports that have made beach living so popular. Surfing has given birth to its own culture, centered around the ocean, the beach and the “endless summer” concept. The best thing about it is that you don’t necessarily have to be a surfer to identify yourself with the surf culture. If you have a deep connection with the ocean, then you understand what it’s all about.
From taking a quick dip in the sea to snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, scuba diving, kitesurfing, you can place a sure bet that every day will be sprinkled with a little adventure. Not to mention that swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, burning between 500 and 700 calories per hour. Floating in water pumps more blood to your core – your heart is invigorated and you become more alert. Furthermore, all water-based exercises are said to reduce anxiety and depression.
Saltwater – an all-natural skincare product
Swimming in saltwater is truly healing. Seawater contains vital elements like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and microorganisms that promote a healthy immune system.
Seawater works wonders on your skin. Say goodbye to beauty products, because none of them can compare to what sea salt, magnesium, and chloride can do for you. They heal damaged skin better than any bottled product in the store. Seawater can cure dermatitis, adds elasticity, fights against wrinkles and slows down the aging process.
There’s plenty of room for research, and it’s still not clear how much time we should spend by the coast in order to see noticeable improvements. What is sure is that seawater and the beach are therapeutic and definitely worth spending more time in and around them.
Ready to let the ocean work its magic on you? Join a beginner surf camp and who knows, you might even find a place to call home by the beach.