The Vibrant Beach
I grew up in The Berkshire Mountains located in Western Massachussetts where the closest beach is about a 2.5 hour drive away. My youth was spent running around in the wilderness and swimming in ponds, lakes, quarries and pools. It truly is heaven on Earth. However, over the past ten years or so, I have been living just miles away from the oceans edge. It has totally rocked my world and improved the condition my body, mind and soul. We all know that one of the most enjoyable and peaceful ways to unwind is a day at the beach. The sun, the sand, the air and the water all assist in creating a perfect, most therapeutic ecosystem around to help support, improve and maintain health and physical wellbeing.
The sun is a powerful creature. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate Vitamin D in your own body. It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts on Vitamin D from your diet. A few minutes in the sun each day is good for us, but too much Vitamin D can be toxic. If you are hanging on the beach all day and in direct sunlight, use a good quality sunscreen and take some breaks. The hours between 10-2p are the hottest, so go grab a healthy lunch during that time or take a nap in a shaded hammock...just be sure to make it back for that beautiful sunset.
The sand is a natural exfoliant for our skin (which is our bodies largest organ). Naturally shedding old layers creates vibrant skin, which the sand helps with. The sand requires more effort than walking on a hard service such as pavement, which in return provides an excellent platform for walking and running. The sand provides great traction for your feet and legs and strengthens your lower body. Your muscles and tendons will work harder on the sand and in return you will use more energy and thus burn more calories. Exercising on the sand helps to give us better balance as it strengthens and stretches the abdominals, back and shoulders. It is also easier on the joints because the sand absorbs nearly 100% of the impact. Plus, the views are distracting and beautiful!
If you are spending most of your time in the air-conditioned indoors, then you are inhaling recycled, stale air. By getting outside and into the great outdoors, you are doing your body a favor by keeping it fresh and clean. Fresh ocean air is good for your immune system, digestion, blood pressure and heart rate. It filters your lungs resulting in a cleaner body and a happier you. You will have more energy and a sharper mind - resulting in winning that paddle ball or volleyball competition with friends.
Over 60% of the human body is made up of water, so it is only natural that we thrive on it. Do you ever feel like your skin is super radiant after a day on the beach? Well, it is! The oceans salt water contains minerals and amino acids that draws out impurities in the skin making your skin clearer, improving texture and boosting natural immunities. The salt water, increases blood circulation which speeds up skin cell regeneration. The minerals in ocean water also decreases stress and provide a sense of well being while relaxing sore muscles and assisting in easing arthritis. Iodine (one of the trace minerals found in sea water) also boosts thyroid function. Salt water is alkalizing and cleansing. The water is also a great place to get your move on. Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout. It strengthens the respiratory system, as well as specific muscle groups in the legs, arms and abs. The sounds of the waves also make for a nice way to fall into a peaceful meditation or a calm space.
In addition to all of this, the ocean provides us with a wide variety of delicious and nutritious cuisine - oysters, mussels, fish, seaweed...the list goes on! But that is a whole other discussion.
Overall, the beach is pretty much the bees knees and is the perfect setting to kick back and hang with family and pals. This summer, instead of spending a ton of cash, hit the beach for free and have a glorious "spa day"! Find a nice piece of beach, put down your towel or chair, close your eyes..and get lost in a good book or the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Your body will thank you and I guarantee that you will leave feeling refreshed. rejuvenated and with a smile on your face. Don't forget to use a high quality sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses and stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water and consuming fruits. Surfs up!