Did you know that a visit to the beach is more than just a fun day out? Research shows that the sea has valuable health benefits for both body and mind. In the following article, you will learn why going to the beach is so good for you.
☀The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.☀
~ Jacques-Yves Cousteau
- Beaches encouraged families to be physically active
- Physical activity in natural environments better for mental health
- The body will produce more vitamin D
- Thalassotherapy is good for you
- Walking barefoot on the beach is good for you
A study by Katherine J.Ashbullby, Sabine Pahl, Paul Webley, and Mathew P.White highlighted the benefits enjoyed by families when they spend time together at the beach: the primary health benefits perceived by parents and children are psychological – experiencing fun, stress relief, and engagement with nature, but children also engage in a variety of physical activities which are good for them and parents may also join the kids in various games.
Seaside environment reduces stress
In a study published in the Social Science & Medicine journal in 2013, Richard Mitchell underlines the benefits for the mental health of performing physical activity in natural environments.
Experimental evidence suggests that there may be synergy between the psychological benefits of physical activity, and the restorative effects of contact with a natural environment; physical activity in a natural environment might produce greater mental health benefits than physical activity elsewhere. […] Access to natural environments for physical activity should be protected and promoted as a contribution to protecting and improving population mental health.
Sunbathing helps the body produce Vitamin D
According to research conducted by the King’s College London’s Institute of Dermatology, sunbathing for short periods of time benefits the body. The ultraviolet rays from the sun help the body manufacture vitamin D in the inner layers of the skin.
The UVB waveband which is the main cause of all adverse effects investigated in the laboratory to date is also the waveband for vitamin D photosynthesis which is the only established benefit of solar exposure.
Thalassotherapy has been appreciated since ancient Greece
Magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, and iodine found in seawater are absorbed through the skin, going directly into the bloodstream. When you swim in the sea, these minerals help to boost your body’s blood and lymph circulation, accelerating the metabolism and promoting the elimination of toxins. Other benefits may include muscle toning, skin cleansing, improved cardiovascular functions, and improvement of sleep quality.
Health benefits of walking barefoot
Walking barefoot outdoors, even in cold weather, is, in fact, a form of therapy called earthing or grounding. Research has shown that it has numerous health benefits. Earthing improves:
- time to fall asleep and quality of sleep
- you wake up feeling rested
- reduces uscles stiffness and pain
- may reduce chronic back and/or joint pain
- improves general well-being
Emerging evidence shows that contact with the Earth—whether being outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems—may be a simple, natural, and yet profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease.*
*Chevalier G, Sinatra ST, Oschman JL, Sokal K, Sokal P. Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons. Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2012;2012:291541. doi:10.1155/2012/291541.
In addition, the sound of the sea has a relaxing effect on the mind, with a possible effect on the body too. Marine Biologist Wallace J. Nichols says that the sound of the waves produces significant drops in stress hormones. His theory is also that humans are intrinsically connected with the sea and that when in harmony with it, we experience profound psychological benefits that can elevate mood, reduce stress and improve faculties such as concentration, clear thinking, and memory.
Regardless what the studies claim, the beach is always a sight and a fun place to be.