8 Health Benefits of the Beach

There’s a reason everybody loves going to the NJ shore. South Jersey has some of the greatest and most enjoyable natural features on earth. A day at the beach is not only fun, but it’s also incredibly good for your body and mind. As a visitor or beach homeowner, whether it’s your vacation home or primary home, living near the NJ coast has many benefits. Here are 8 Health Benefits of the Beach:

  1. Going to the beach is like getting a beauty treatment for your skin.walking on beach

The beach and ocean water truly has an amazingly positive effect on the overall health and appearance of skin. Do you ever wonder why it feels so good to walk on sand? It’s because there are somewhere between 3,000 and 7,000 nerve endings in each foot that awaken when you walk across those tiny grains.

  • Exfoliate – the sand does a wondrous job exfoliating our feet, hands, and body. Nothing removes dead skin cells quite like coarse bits of sand does! To take full advantage of sand’s rejuvenating qualities, take a walk near the water where the sand is “looser” and can wash over your feet.  Exfoliation keeps the skin clean, healthy and rejuvenated. Because the ground beneath you is constantly shifting, you also use muscles in your feet you don’t use when you’re wearing shoes so you burn more calories. In fact, it takes double the energy to walk on sand than on a hard surface. So, what are you waiting for?!
  • Detoxify – once the warm sun opens up our pores, the salt water is then able to go in and pull out the toxins. No more blemishes, uneven skin, or excess oils! The sun’s UV rays also dry out the skin, which is great for people who suffer from psoriasis. The salt and potassium chloride in seawater also helps heal dermatitis, a skin rash. Plus, seawater helps preserve the elasticity of the skin and contains magnesium which moisturizes your skin.
  • Antibacterial – the iodine and salt in the water work to completely destroy bacteria and fungi on your skin that cause breakouts.
  1. The sound of the ocean soothes you.

There’s a reason sound machines that lull you to sleep all have ocean soundtracks. Listening to waves crash against the shore can actually alter your brain waves, lulling you into a relaxed state, and may trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. All this reduces your stress levels and helps you relax.

  1. The beach boosts your immune system.

Doctors have been prescribing trips to the ocean for centuries, and for several excellent reasons.beach-heart

  • Sunlight gives you vitamin D – Vitamin D helps prevent autoimmune diseases. 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!
  • Seawater contains several minerals and other compounds – These help boost your immune system and rid your body of toxins. For example, seawater helps cuts heal faster (although it stings) and can even stop a runny nose.
  • The waves contain iodine – which is great for your thyroid and subsequently boosts your immune system. Having adequate levels of iodine in the body ensures that energy levels and metabolic rates are optimal, that hair and nail growth is at its peak, and that hormone levels are regulated. Iodine, surprisingly, also is taken for its anti-carcinogenic properties and for the fact that it can help reduce fibrocystic disease symptoms. Iodine is naturally present in the water because of the living organisms within it. While it’s not possible to say the exact amount of iodine present in the water, this essential supplement is absorbed through your skin when you swim.
  1. Even the air is good for you.

The natural inclination to inhale deeply when you first step on the beach is actually an automatic response to the quality of the air. Individuals with asthma, COPD, or breathing difficulties will find that it’s far easier to breathe when on the beach, than almost anywhere else. This is because not only are the chest muscles surrounding the lungs relaxed when a person steps onto the beach, but the air itself is actually charged with negative ions that work to increase oxygen absorption in the lungs.

  1. The ocean gives you perspective.

When you stare out at the ocean, it actually changes your brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state. Being at the ocean is therapeutic because it helps put your problems in perspective. This is a major boon to your mental health – and why picturing the ocean is so common in many relaxation exercises.

  1. Going to the beach relieves stress.

The number one benefit for hitting the beach is stress relief. As soon as you exit your vehicle and step out into the sun, you feel the calming effects wash over you like water. Both the sun and the waves combined work to completely relax your body, release you from your aches, and free you from daily stresses. Not only is serotonin almost immediately released when you arrive on the beach, (serotonin is a key hormone for relaxation and happiness), but the sound and visuals of the beach and ocean are simply so soothing and peaceful.

  1. You’ll always get a better sleep after a day at the beach.

After just a few hours at the beach one of the greatest benefits a person will experience is a truly wonderful night’s sleep later. For insomnia sufferers looking for a natural remedy, the beach is a definite recommendation. It’s because the beach helps relieve three key factors that inhibit sleep: high stress and anxiety levels, lack of physical fatigue, and hormonal imbalances.

Not only do you feel immediately relaxed upon setting foot on the beach, but you get a great exercise even from just walking on the beach! Additionally, the sun and lowered stress levels immediately help regulate a person’s hormones – making it far easier later that night to get a peaceful and deep sleep.

  1. Connect with yourself and spirit at the beach.Beach Yoga

Whether you’re religious or not, heading to the beach can put you in touch with your spirit and consciousness. The vastness of the ocean, expansive horizon, and beauty of the surroundings makes you truly appreciate nature. Additionally, it’s when we’re so surrounded by nature and beauty that we can feel at peace and release ourselves from the daily stresses and troubles in the modernized world. Practicing a bit of meditation or yoga on the beach is highly recommended as there is no better place in the world to truly feel at one with the earth and ourselves.

So, the next time you’ve had a particularly stressful week at work, have completed a strenuous year of schooling, or are just feeling less than fantastic on a certain day, take some time off and hit the Jersey shore – it’s the doctor’s orders!