Sand between my toes, sun on my face and the sound of the crashing waves. Oh sorry- I just closed my eyes for a bit and imagined a relaxing place. I love the beach! It’s a great place to spend time with friends and family for fun. It’s also the perfect place to catch some time alone to reflect. There are so many reasons to go to the beach before you even get to the health benefits of the beach.
I like to spend time at the beach and the bonus benefits just make it that much better. The great thing about the beach is it’s free. There are beaches close to our home and it’s easy to grab a beach bag to enjoy a free day of relaxing fun. I also love to travel to visit the beaches in Hawaii. The most beautiful beaches are found in Hawaii and I love to take my family for beach fun. As soon as I get home from one vacation in Hawaii, I’m planning my next beach vacation.
As you can tell, I definitely don’t need an excuse to go to the beach. I bet you don’t either! If you do need an excuse for an awesome beach day, or just want to reinforce your beach day, let’s talk health benefits of the beach.
6 Health Benefits of the Beach
1 – Dose of Vitamin D
Many people are deficient in Vitamin D because we don’t get outside enough anymore. Your body can make your daily dose of Vitamin D by just being on the beach for 10 minutes and it stores Vitamin D for use later. According to the FDA, Vitamin D is important for blood pressure regulation, bone growth, calcium balance, hormone production, nervous system function and immune function. You don’t need much beach time to get your Vitamin D. If you’re going to the beach in Hawaii or spending lots of time on the beach, I recommend a nontoxic sunscreen because nobody wants to get burned.
Vitamin D can also boost your mood, which leads us to our next beach health benefit!
2 – Reduces Stress
The beach is so relaxing and combats the number 1 destroyer of health which is stress. That makes reducing stress a huge health benefit of the beach and a reason the doctor recommends a beach day!
It’s so much easier to unplug when you are at the beach. The electronic distractions are limited, and the glare of the sun can make it hard to look at your phone. So, you put it away. The blue water is naturally destressing as studies show the color blue is calming, and the rhythmic sound of the waves naturally put your brain in a meditative state. Being at the beach is like a white noise machine for your brain and can help put all those things that are stressing you out on hold.
3 – Beach Means Exercise
The beach leads to exercise, whether you are looking for it or not. Splashing around in the water or taking walks on the beach means more exercise for you. If you’re out there to exercise, then the sand adds resistance to your exercise routine. With sand moving out from under your feet it makes running, walking and keeping your balance just a bit more difficult helping you work just a bit harder.
4 – Grounding Day
Many of us rarely spend time with our feet on the ground getting the electroactivity balancing benefits of regular grounding. Grounding has been shown to have so many physiological benefits, including reducing inflammation and helping to normalize your circadian rhythm. Wet sand is a great conductor and floating in your tube is grounding too. That means you can get the health benefits of grounding without even trying with a day at the beach.
5 – Better Sleep
It might be the grounding. Or is it all the exercise or the relaxation of the beach? Does it matter? A day at the beach will help you sleep better. Building great sleep habits are essential for health and healing so take advantage of this benefit. A beach day can help you get started on steps to get better sleep.
6 – Great for Skin
Your skin is your biggest organ and is your body’s first line of defense in protecting you from bacteria or toxins. You can do something nice for your skin just by going to the beach because sand is a great exfoliant. Take care of that skin with a nontoxic SPF, healthy foods and good lotion. Everybody wants healthy soft skin and your skin deserves it!
Bonus Beach Health Benefit:
If you are swimming in the ocean you get all the benefits of the trace minerals being absorbed through your skin. That includes magnesium which is an electrolyte that supports many important biological functions including heart and muscle function. It’s also been shown to reduce anxiety and help you sleep.
Take a Beach Day
If you don’t go to the beach you can’t take advantage of all the natural health benefits of the beach. It’s a healthy day without even trying. You don’t need much but if you make a day of it pack some healthy snacks and a nontoxic sunscreen.
Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn