I know the idea of going to the beach might sound nice and an entire Navarre Beach vacation might sound even better, but did you know there are actual health benefits of beach visits?
According to WebMD, going to the beach improves overall well-being. Exposure to the sun’s rays and the ocean air is great for our mental health. Here are the top 11 benefits of the beach:
1. Stress reliever. Going to the beach can lower your blood pressure and stress hormone levels. The calming atmosphere of the beach can also lessen anxiety and nervous system arousal, which is what makes you feel stressed and anxious.
2. A change of scenery. We get used to our daily surroundings and it’s good to change it up every now and then. When you walk onto the shore of Navarre Beach, you gaze upon snow-white sand and emerald green water. It’s quite a change of scenery from four walls.
3. Improves mood. Being on the beach gives you a mood boost. The open space and crashing waves can be therapeutic for whatever you’re going through in life. Sunlight is even known to reduce depression. Exposure to sunlight is believed to boost the release of serotonin in the brain, which can enhance your mood and make you feel calmer and more focused.
4. Involves all 5 senses. Going to Navarre Beach is like taking all 5 of your senses on a field trip. See – the emerald green water colliding with beautiful white sand, accented with the longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico. Smell – the fresh air. Hear – the sound of the waves crashing on shore and birds communicating through the air. Feel – the coarse sand displacing with every step and the cool water refreshing you from the warm sun on your skin. Taste – the salty air and salt water.
5. Vitamin D and Vitamin SEA. One of the most essential vitamins in our diets is vitamin D, but did you know that very little of it is actually absorbed through the consumption of foods?
Yes, you may have vitamin D enriched milk, but it’s often not enough for what our body needs. However, spending just ten minutes outside in the sun can actually allow a person to absorb their daily dose of vitamin D directly through their skin! This nutrient can help boost your immune system, not to mention, it’s important for the growth and development of bones and teeth. Vitamin D can also help fight certain diseases and aids in weight loss. But those UV rays at the beach don’t mess around, so don’t forget to apply some SPF.
6. Reduces symptoms of arthritis. Bet you didn’t know this one. Spending some time in the ocean water may help reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis because salt water dehydrates inflamed cells in the body, which in turn reduces inflammation. As you soak in the ocean water, salt can be absorbed into the skin, reducing swelling and pain.
7. The sand is a great workout. The beach is a great place for exercise, and you barely have to plan a workout. The resistance of the sand causes you to exert more energy to simply walk. Research shows that walking on the beach is a better workout and burns more calories than walking on concrete since you have to work harder to move through the sand, even if you’re moving at the same speed.
8. Less screen time. When you’re surrounded by beautiful water and sunshine, you’re less likely to be staring at your phone. Sure, you’ll pick it up to snap a few pictures and check the time, but most likely you’ll put it back down and enjoy the atmosphere. Too much screen time has proven negative effects such as causing poor vision, poor sleep, back and neck pain, and impaired cognitive function. Getting away from it for a few hours of the day can only be a good thing. According to Quartz, spending time by bodies of water (like the ocean or a lake), can counteract the dulling effect of too much screen time. That’s because the water improves your mood and opens your mind and there’s more to take in around you.
9. Help you sleep better at night. Since the beach is known to be soothing and calming, good sleep after a day at the beach just makes sense. A 2015 study from the United Kingdom also found that people sleep on average 47 minutes longer the night after they spend time at the beach than those who weren’t at the beach. The combination of the relaxing beach and the sunlight allows people to calm down enough to let go of their stress and get a good night’s rest.
10. Increases creativity. Do you lack inspiration? Head down to the beach. Not only can the beach help you feel happier, but it can also increase creativity, according to a 2011 study. Marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols wrote about this concept in his book Blue Mind, illuminating that being near the water not only calms us, but also increases insight and innovation. It opens us up to new ideas and to our more creative side.
11. Beauty treatment for your skin. When we go for a walk at the beach the sand does a wonderful job of exfoliating our feet, hands, and body, removing dead skin cells, and rejuvenating our skin. Our skin also gets detoxified at the beach – once the warm sun opens up our pores, the salt water is then able to go in and pull out the toxins. This helps minimize blemishes, uneven skin, and excess oils. It doesn’t stop there either! The iodine and salt in the water work to completely destroy bacteria and fungi on your skin that cause breakouts.
So next time you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, book a trip to your happy place, aka Navarre Beach here. You deserve it.