If you have ever been at the beach, you already know that feeling of immediate relaxation once your naked feet touch the sand. Your mood improves, a smile comes to your face and you almost feel at peace at that moment. But the benefits of going to the beach transcend the mere perception and science has even managed to prove some of them.
Benefits of going to the beach for the body
Back when the use of medications and drugs wasn’t as widespread as today, the doctors had one work-for-all treatment that they always prescribed to their patients with excellent results in most cases. The treatment? Take a few days off and go to the beach.
This goes to show that even before scientists and doctors could understand the reasons, the benefits of going to the beach were already too clear to be denied.
Personalized foot massage
Walking barefoot on the sand stimulates the more than 200 000 nerve endings on the soles. It is almost as if you are performing a soothing foot massage on yourself, which in turn will help to relax the body.
It also brings your body directly in contact with the earth and leaves it feeling as one with the nature around you, balancing and soothing the emotions as if you were finally coming back to your roots.
It makes your skin shine
The sand is also a great exfoliator. While you’re enjoying your day at the beach, the simple contact of your body with the sand will work to remove the dead cells and impurities from your skin and leave it smooth and beautiful.
Plus, the seawater helps to treat several skin ailments such as psoriasis or dermatitis. It works as an antiseptic that cleans the skin from any toxins as the pores are opened due to the warm sun rays.
Your immune system gets a boost
The benefits of going to the beach are not limited to natural beauty treatments.
Exposing your skin to the warm sun rays is one of the best ways to increase the levels of vitamin D in the organism. But, most importantly, seawater is a great source of iodine.
Scientists are still unable to explain the mechanism through which it works, but inhaling iodine or bathing your body in water containing it can aid to treat several ailments. It’s not a coincidence that seawater therapy is so popular in Europe.
From reducing respiratory problems to soothing the symptoms of arthritis and osteoporosis, seawater seems to be a big ally of the immune system. Moreover, this mineral-rich water can also work wonders to disinfect the skin and can even speed up wound healing.
You will sleep better
People suffering of insomnia or sleep deprivation, one of the benefits of the beach is that it works as a natural treatment for these problems.
A day at the beach leaves you with a pleasant feeling of exhaustion and very sleepy due to several factors. First, it reduces stress and anxiety which can inhibit sleep and prevent the body from relaxing.
Secondly, walking on the beach is similar to a low-intensity workout and it requires more effort than walking on a pavement. Besides, you are also more likely to engage in physical activities at the beach, like swimming in the sea or playing volleyball with your friends.
Lastly, the soothing sound of the waves makes the body release more dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that induce a state of relaxation and happiness. The latter is also a precursor of melatonin, thus playing an important role in regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycles.
How the beach benefits your brain
The body certainly enjoys the benefits of going to the beach the most, but the brain can never be dissociated from it. In fact, most of the benefits are a consequence of the relaxation the body experiences at the beach and the brain plays a big role in this.
It relaxes the brain
The beach is what the scientists call a “blue environment”, meaning one marked by the presence of water. According to a 2010 study, even just looking at pictures of blue environments produces more feelings of happiness and perceived restorativeness than those without water.
In this case, of the benefits of the beach is that to the visual stimulus it adds the sounds too.
In an interview to LiveScience, Orfeu Buxton, an associate professor of biobehavioral health at Pennsylvania State University, explained that the brain interprets sounds as threats or non-threats. To it, the sound of the crashing waves is non-threatening, thus prompting the brain to signal the body that it can fully relax.
The color blue is also linked to feelings of calm and trustworthiness.
Lifts your mood
The air ions that you breath have a big impact on your mental well-being and emotional state.
There are already some indications that negative ions can work as antidepressants in some patients, according to a 1998 study. Nevertheless, even if other studies didn’t reach the same conclusion, they admitted that it could help improve personal comfort and soothe anxiety, albeit erratically.
The beach is rich in negative ions, unlike cities where positive ones prevail. The scientists suspect the reason lies somewhere between the effect of the sun rays in the air and the spraying water.
It boosts your creativity
Being exposed to such a beautiful blue environment does more than relax you and lift your mood.
According to a 2009 study, being exposed to the blue color enhances creativity. In the case of the beach, this effect is reinforced as the mind is clear and stress is not clouding your judgment or perspectives.
Relax without any worries
To enjoy the benefits of going to the beach the experience should be as relaxing as possible from the start. But that is not usually the case.
You might worry about getting your car dirty afterwards, or maybe you’ll refrain from playing in the water with your family and have fun simply because you’re afraid you might get robbed in the meanwhile.
To help you clear some of these worries, check the video below to learn creative ways of keeping your belongings safe and your skin clean while you relax under the sun.