Monday, October 13, 2014

Day 1832 - Beach Health

Guess what! Hanging out at the beach is actually good for you ...

Photo taken last week at Surf Beach, NSW
If anyone knows us, they know we are a beach family.  Give us a holiday opportunity and we'll always choose the sun.  This of course poses problems when it comes to skin health and we have to be super careful not to over-expose our family to cancerous rays.  The good news is, that despite the worry about skin cancer, there are heaps of reasons why the beach is actually good for your health.

Hitting the beach is not only good for the body it's also very good for the soul.  Here are seven reasons why you should factor in beach time this summer:

  1. Sand boosts fitness:  It takes more energy to walk on a squishy surface than it does to walk on a hard service. So take your walk or your run to the beach for a better workout.
  2. Seawater soothes the skin:  The minerals in seawater can smooth wrinkles and fight germs on account of something called "thalassothereapy".  A study has shown that seawater stimulates white blood cells which boosts the immunity.  Dead Sea minerals have an anti-aging effect due to high levels of magnesium.
  3. The ocean soothes the soul:  This is one of the main reasons I'm a fan of the beach. There is nothing like being at one with the ocean to help you zen out and find your inner peace.  It's a great way to be in the "now" and practise a bit of mindfulness. This is because sea air is full of negative ions which have a calming effect.  This helps to balance hormones and serotonin levels.  
  4. Salt is good for the lungs: Research shows that breathing in microscopic salt particles has an anti-inflammatory effect on the lunges and can soothe asthma, hay fever, sinus problems, bronchitis and snoring. I will vouch for all that! As a sinus sufferer I never have any nose issues when I am at the beach.
  5. Sea swimming uses more energy: It's simple - swimming in the waves uses more energy which means you are getting a better work out. I'm not so good on this one though due to my fear of sharks and other pesky sea creatures.  I think I will do my work outs on the sand instead.
  6. Sunshine is good for heart health:  According to scientists, soaking up the sun can lower  blood pressure which reduces risks of heart attack and stroke.  It's because UV rays help the body to release nitric oxide which reduces blood pressure.  Having said that - it doesn't mean you can go without sunscreen!  Load up on the SPF to avoid sunburn.
  7. The beach makes you happy: Studies in Britain have shown that being at the coast creates a greater feeling of well being than any other natural wide open space. That's good enough for me! 
So if you're like me and you're not lucky enough to live by the ocean, then book a trip to your nearest seaside town today! With the weather warming up there are plenty of weekends available to work on your beach health.

It's a great way to age positively! 

Information Source:  This information was taken from the article "7 Surprising Beach Health Secrets" in the November 2014 issue of Women's Fitness magazine.  

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