Most folks smile when they think about their favorite day at the beach. Why? Why does the beach make us happy? Why do we sit at our desks and sometimes find ourselves longing for a nice sunny day filled with sand between our toes and the sounds of waves and seagulls? As it turns out, going to the beach is actually good for us! Seems our bodies already instinctively know this and that may be the very reason we feel that internal longing for sun, sand, and surf.
Don’t believe it? Get ready to visit Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan because here are nine reasons going to the beach is good for you and can actually help you live a little bit healthier life.
- SALT WATER IS GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN AND BODY
Salt water, like that found in The Gulf of Mexico, is good for your skin. It is full of minerals like sodium, chloride, magnesium and calcium. These are some of the same ingredients found in our daily vitamins our internal organs crave, so it stands to reason, that our skin would love them, too! Salt water helps with seasonal allergies. Many of us use saline nose sprays to help with allergy symptoms. A swim in The Gulf is undeniably nicer than an allergy nasal spray any day. And did you know that swimming in colder water activates temperature receptors under your skin and that it can help release hormones like adrenaline, endorphins and cortisol? That’s right. It is a widely accepted premise that cold water swimming can actually help boost your immune system and relieve aches and pains by activating certain hormones.
- SAND IS A NATURAL EXFOLIANT
How much money have you spent on exfoliants for your feet and body in an effort to make your skin softer and younger looking? Why not just take a walk on the beach in Gulf Shores? Alabama has 32 miles of pristine white beaches and beach sand is one of nature’s best exfoliants for your feet. While we wouldn’t use on faces because it is a bit rough for tender skin, for feet, however, its perfect. It’s super easy to exfoliate your feet on the beach, too. Just go search for shells. Yep! As you treasure hunt along the tideline looking for the most perfect shells you can spot, the sand is gently exfoliating your feet. The farther you walk, the better the exfoliation. It’s like getting a natural foot spa treatment that ends with a great little souvenir collection!
- SEA BREEZE IS GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN
Tired of brain freeze? All the cold weather and staying inside all winter got you down? Well, head to the beach and breathe in the fresh salty air found at the seaside. Spending a lot of time inside during the winter around power sources and electrical devices can lead to a great deal of positive ion exposure. Positive ions, despite their optimistic names, are not positive for our overall health at all. Instead these tiny little positively charged atomic particles are believed to have properties that can lead to anxiety, breathing difficulty, irritability and an overall lack of energy. Negative ions, on the other hand, are found outdoors in natural clean air sources, such as in an Orange Beach sea breeze or after a fresh rain on Lake Shelby. Negative ions can reverse the effects of their positive counterparts on your body. Negative ions can help purify blood, revitalize cell metabolism and boost your immune system. According to a study in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine, negative ions have also been shown to reverse the effects of seasonal affective disorder, also called SAD. So while you’re at the beach, breathe in the fresh salt air. It’s good for you!
- SUNSHINE IS A GREAT SOURCE OF VITAMIN D
Did you know your body is a manufacturer of Vitamin D? That’s right. When your body gets sun exposure, your skin uses the UVB rays to manufacture Vitamin D. This vitamin is used throughout your body to support immune, lung and cardiovascular health. It helps regulate insulin and helps strengthen bones and teeth. So while you’re on your little treasure hunt looking for shells, soak up some sun and encourage your body to produce the Vitamin D it needs. Keep in mind, though, that while our bodies need sunlight to encourage the manufacturing of Vitamin D, UVA and UVB rays can cause sunburn and can lead to some cancers. Sunscreen and exposure moderation are key factors when soaking up rays. The CDC recommends applying a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF15 before going outside for long periods of time. Studies have shown that using sunscreen does not cause a Vitamin D production deficiency, so don’t forget to take care of your skin as it works hard for you!
- WALKING OR RUNNING ON THE BEACH GETS YOUR HEART RATE UP
Exercising anywhere is good. Many of us, admittedly, do not get enough exercise even though our doctors would prefer we get our heart rates up a bit each day. The truth is: we just don’t do it. We will walk on the beach, though, because this doesn’t seem like exercise. It’s more of a sightseeing or shell hunting adventure. As it happens, walking or running on the beach is really great exercise!. Because the beach sand moves under our feet as we walk or run, we actually burn more calories than we do while walking or running on concrete. So exercising on the beach doesn’t seem like exercise at all and it is a better workout than we might be getting somewhere else. Who knew working out could be so much fun?
- BEACH SOUNDS ENCOURAGE HEALTHY SLEEP PATTERNS
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to take a nap in the middle of the day on the beach? Or how quickly you wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of a fire engine or clap of thunder? This doesn’t seem to make a lot sense unless we think about how our brain processes noises. Whether we are sleeping or awake, our brains classify noises as threatening or nonthreatening. Fire engines, thunder and even those pesky alarms we set each day are heard as potentially threatening noises. When we hear them, even if we are in a deep sleep, we wake up. We may not want to wake up, but we do. On the other hand, that soft lulling of the surf coupled with the songs of seagulls, and even that soft crackling sound sea oats make when the breeze passes through them are interpreted as non threatening, even relaxing, noises. These soft repetitive noises encourage deep and beneficial sleep. The next time find yourself tired from a long day at your office, but having a hard time falling asleep at home, try thinking about the sound of the surf and you may find sleep comes a bit easier. Better yet, plan a trip down to the Alabama Gulf Coast and experience this first hand for yourself.
- LOCAL SEAFOOD IS NUTRITIOUS
While you can find most anything on a menu at a beach restaurant, seafood is by far the most prevalent item. So why not enjoy some? Seafood is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, often missing from American diets, are shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, arthritis and even cancer. They also help with brain and behavioral functions. So, go ahead and enjoy some fresh Alabama Gulf Shrimp or have some grilled grouper while you’re vacationing at the beach. Load up on Omega-3s. They’re good for you.
- A SLOWER PACE REDUCES STRESS
It has often been said that we, at the beach, live on “Island Time”. What does that mean? It means everything’s a bit slower, more relaxed. Away from the busy streets of bigger cities, you’ll find folks on bicycles or driving slowly in convertibles. You’ll see colorful kites flying and parasailers behind boats. On Island Time, your day will start when you wake up naturally. There’s no need to set an alarm. You can watch the sunrise or set and take time to appreciate both. There isn’t any pressure to dress up or to impress anyone. In fact, shorts, shades and flip-flops are acceptable attire at most places. Leaving deadlines and voicemails behind, even for just a short time, will reduce your stress level. Without all the demands of work and school and the things that hurry you along daily, you’ll be able to find inner peace and relaxation at the beach. You’ll feel your stress level drop almost as soon as you get here.
- YOU CAN UNPLUG AND RECHARGE
Electromagnetic radiation, also called EMR, refers to the electromagnetic waves emitted from our televisions, laptops, communications and other devices. While the notion of going somewhere without our phone or ipad is foreign to most of us, after days and weeks and months of continued use, that EMR exposure can start to have negative effects on our bodies. As a result, taking a break from our electronic devices is never a bad idea. How about putting down your phone and picking up a Frisbee or football and playing a game of catch on the sand? Go for a swim in The Gulf or enjoy a paddle board ride over the waves. Give your body an EMR break as you walk the beach at Fort Morgan from Mobile Bay all the way around to the place where it meets The Gulf. Go ahead, unplug and recharge yourself on the beach! The benefits to your health may be greater than you think.
So we’ve given you nine reasons why a beach trip would benefit your health. What are you waiting for? At Sunset Properties, we already have your beach home ready for you. Whether you’re looking for a one, two or three bedroom condo, beach house, or penthouse, we have just the right vacation home to fit your needs. We have homes with pools, workout rooms, and boat slips. We have properties adjacent to the public beaches and some on private beaches. All you need to do is give us a call, then pack up and head down. Your healthy beach vacation is just a call away.
We look forward to hearing from you soon….and remember….your whole body will thank you for it!