Whatever the weather, enjoy the health benefits of the sea and the sand!
If you are lucky enough to live close to the ocean, don’t take it for granted but instead take advantage of all that the sea and shore have to offer. Whatever time of the year, take a long stroll on the beach while enjoying the silence and solitude to clear your head and soak up the fresh, sea air. Did you know that the sound of waves alters wave patterns in the brain, lulling you into a deeply relaxed state? Relaxing in this way can help rejuvenate the mind and body.
There are so many benefits from being by the ocean:
- Sea air is charged with healthy negative ions, accelerating our ability to absorb oxygen while balancing levels of seratonin (a body chemical linked with mood and stress). Time spent by the sea means we sleep more soundly that night and worry less.
- If you jog or walk on the beach, the sand creates more resistance than when you do the same exercise on the road or a flat surface. Sand adds resistance to any beach activity, in creasing your calorie expenditure (the number of calories you burn).
- If you can feel the sand through your bare feet so much the better, giving you the benefits of grounding or earthing. Wading in natural water or walking on grass, earth or any natural surface has the same effect.
- Exercising on the beach is great for a leg and buttocks workout or you can perform gentle yoga poses, on your beach towel, to stretch and lengthen your body.
- When exercising on the beach, make sure you stand up straight, keep your abdominal muscles tight, stride from the hips and avoid walking on a slope.
- If it is not too chilly, walk or run in the water itself for a great low-impact workout.
- The warmth of the sun on your skin (even in less warmer times) helps you to produce that all important vitamin D as well as affecting your endocrine system – the part of our body which secretes endorphins which are those natural chemicals in your body designed to make you feel relaxed and less stressed. Sun is good for certain skin conditions too – such as psoriasis.
- Salty seawater itself is full of health benefits for the skin, helping to clear up eczema so that the skin heals more quickly.
- All-weather surfers never seem to suffer from colds and flu – the salt water clears out all the sinus passages. The seawater also increases the elasticity of the skin while improving its appearance.
- The magnesium content of seawater is significant enough to have a nutritional and calming effect on our nerves, which explains why sea bathing is so relaxing. Potassium in seawater enters the skin and encourages good urinary flow.
- Seawater contains all the 89 known elements present in our bodies, including osmium, gold, vanadium, zinc and iodine.
- If you have company on the beach, enjoy a game of volleyball with your friends or family. Volleyball gives an extensive all-over-body-workout whatever your age as it is cardio driven and all-over toning at the same time. Volleyball will work your legs, arms and back muscles while enhancing your stomach muscles.
- Throwing a frisbee works your upper back and arm muscles and can provide good cardiovascular conditioning if you have to run to catch it.
If you are one of the fortunate few who live close to the ocean and the beach, don’t waste that wonderful and free natural resource.