Summer is finally here. You know what this means, right? It’s time to head for the beach. Spending time by the ocean is one of our favorite summer activities, and it’s easy to understand why. It’s fun, it’s relaxing and it can be truly soothing. But is there something more? There is.
Going to the beach can actually help you improve your overall health. According to scientific studies, there are numerous benefits of walking on the beach. Not only for the body, but the mind as well. Keep on reading to discover the many ways a day by the ocean can help you improve both your physical and mental health.
Walking on Sand=Great Workout
One of the best workouts you can get at the beach is simply by walking. Yes, there’s no need to resort to high-intensity training. A simple walk will do the trick and help you get an efficient exercise.
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology showed that walking on sand is a more effective workout than walking on a hard surface like concrete. This is due to the fact that walking on sand requires 1.6-2.5 times more mechanical work and 2.1-2.7 times more energy expenditure in comparison to walking on a hard surface at the same speed. This means that going for a walk on the beach will ensure a higher calorie burn in comparison to going for a walk on concrete.
In order to see how many calories you’ve burned at the beach, as well as other useful fitness metrics, such as the distance covered, the steps taken or the total active time, we recommend using a pedometer app like our own ActivityTracker. Using such an app will give you the opportunity to easily track your progress during the day and to set a personal target for the desired metric. This will help you stay focused and motivated to keep on going until you reach your goal.
Sea Air Keeps Your Lungs Healthy
Taking a long stroll on the beach and breathing in that sea air can be truly beneficial to your lung health. According to a research conducted by the University of Ghent in Belgium and the Flamine Marine Institute, sea spray aerosols can have a truly positive influence on our health. To be precise, these particles we breath in can play an important role in the prevention of lung cancer and in the decrease of the bad cholesterol level.
The curative powers of the ocean air for our lungs are proven by another study. At the end of a 48-week program, a group of Australian researchers concluded that the salty coastal air may improve lung function in patients suffering from cystic fibrosis. Other benefits may include thinner mucus, reduced episodes of coughing and lower sinus pressure.
Improved Bone Health
One of the benefits of going to the beach is getting a significant amount of vitamin D. This nutrient plays a major role in many important processes, including in the developing and maintaining of strong and healthy bones. According to research, vitamin D has a powerful impact on bone health not only in the case of adults, but children as well.
Scientists have found evidence that this vitamin can increase our bone-mineral density and reduce the risk of fall in elderly people. At the same time, a higher level of vitamin D can prevent bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis or osteomalacia. A low level of this vitamin can lead to a poor bone development in children and to a higher risk of the rickets disease.
Vitamin D Benefits
As we’ve already mentioned, vitamin D is fundamental to bone health. But in addition to that, it comes with many other health benefits. Getting a good dose of this vitamin can help us boost our immune system and lower the risk of developing the flu, keep diabetes under control, as well as improve our heart health by lowering our blood pressure.
The benefits don’t stop there. Vitamin D can aid us combat various diseases. Findings suggest that a high level of vitamin D can reduce the likelihood of multiple sclerosis. At the same time, it may be efficient when it comes to weight loss. There’s a study to back this up. At the end of a 15-week weight loss program, participants who took vitamin D and calcium supplements managed to drop more pounds in comparison to those who took a placebo supplement.
When you reach the beach, you usually take off your shoes and put them back on when you leave. So this means that you’ll spend an important amount of time walking barefoot on sand. Walking barefoot is regarded as one of the many forms of grounding. What is grounding? Also known as earthing, this is a practice designed to help you reconnect to the earth.
Grounding comes with a series of scientifically proven benefits. According to one research, this technique may help you decrease fatigue and increase your energy levels. Additionally it may lead to an increase in sleep length and better rest overall. Another study found that engaging in this activity can lead to a reduced chronic pain.
One of the health benefits of the beach is, of course, the exposure to sunlight. As we’ve already seen, this can help us in many ways from a physical perspective. But it can be helpful from a mental point of view as well.
When we expose ourselves to the sun, we make our brain increase the level of serotonin. This is a key hormone considered responsible for improving our state of mind and our overall wellbeing. A higher level of serotonin can help us feel more calm and focused, while a low level of serotonin is linked to a higher risk of depression caused by the changing of the seasons.
It Unleashes Creativity
Scientists have shown that the blue color of the ocean can aid us find peace of mind and tranquility. At the same time blue is associated with a boost in creativity, according to research. So a simple activity like staring at the blue ocean and watching the waves crash can actually help us become more creative in our day-to-day tasks.
Marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, author of the Blue Mind book, reached the same conclusion. Being close to the water allows us to not only relieve anxiety and stress, but also find inspiration and boost creativity.